Low to give Boateng Germany return in Northern Ireland 'final'

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Joachim Low revealed he is planning to give Jerome Boateng his first international appearance for almost a year in Germany's World Cup qualification "final" against Northern Ireland on Thursday.

Boateng has been restricted to just two appearances for Germany in World Cup qualifying, with his most recent coming against Northern Ireland on October 11 last year.

Germany have not struggled in his absence, though, as they need just a point in Belfast to clinch their progression to Russia as Group C winners, with Low's men winning all eight matches so far.

But Low is delighted to have the defender back in his squad and has not detected any negativity from Boateng or his Bayern Munich team-mates in the wake of Carlo Ancelotti's sacking.

He told reporters at his pre-match media conference: "I have not had many individual talks yet, but I feel the mood of the players. I have not noticed any nervousness or tension playing a role with Bayern players.

"I have talked to some players previously. Jerome Boateng is very pleased to be back after almost a year, but I leave the topic of Bayern aside in the discussions.

"We are waiting for the training tomorrow [Thursday], but Jerome has signalled to me that he feels good. After his long injury break, one has to be careful with the load, but my idea is that he plays tomorrow from the start."

Low went on to single Leroy Sane out for praise, saluting the young winger's development and increased maturity since leaving Schalke for Manchester City last year.

"I was in Manchester last week and saw the game against Crystal Palace," Lowe said. "Leroy Sane has played very efficiently and has developed a lot.

"I believe Leroy has matured in Manchester last year. Thanks to the many games in the physical Premier League, he has developed in terms of assertiveness.

"He has a huge potential, can make the difference with his speed and one-on-one strength. At the European Championship last year, he was a newcomer with us.

"The fact that he missed the Confederations Cup, I found a great pity. At the moment he is in very good shape. If he continues to develop in this way, he will give us all great joy."