Germany coach Joachim Loew believes he will be taking a strong squad to the World Cup finals, even without missing injured captain Michael Ballack.
The Chelsea midfielder has been ruled out of the tournament in South Africa with an ankle injury, but Loew said Thursday the coaching staff has confidence in the rest of the squad.
In an interview on the national team's official website, Loew declined to say which three players will be dropped from his preliminary squad when the final 23-man selection is announced.
"We have a strong team and we hope that we will play a good World Cup, regardless of how bitter the absence of Michael Ballack is," Loew said from the team's training camp in Sicily. "We can only reaffirm that we have confidence in our squad for South Africa. And we have a plan for the upcoming personnel decisions.
"But we want to speak to the players before we make it public."
Loew's squad will move to the mountains of northern Italy on Friday for the final preparation stage.