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World champions Germany will be without over half a dozen stalwarts, including Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels and Marco Reus, at next month’s Confederations Cup, to give them a longer summer break ahead of their World Cup title defense.

Coach Joachim Loew said on Wednesday the 2018 World Cup in Russia was the goal and the June 17-July 2 Confederations Cup just a stop along the road, and some of his players would be competing in their third major tournament in three years.

The list of absentees also includes Jerome Boateng, Mesut Ozil, Thomas Mueller and Toni Kroos, while Loew called up seven newcomers.

Some of his players, including Serge Gnabry and Max Meyer, are to be deployed in the Under-21 European championship at the same time.

“We are going into the tournament with a prospect squad. We want those who will be with us to learn our ideas, our mechanisms, train with us. That is the aim. To bring them a bit further towards world level,” Loew said.

Hoffenheim playmaker Kerem Demirbay, 23-year-old Ajax Amsterdam winger Amin Younes and RB Leipzig’s Diego Demme are among the newcomers. Others include 29-year-old forward Sandro Wagner and Lars Stindl, 28.