Injuries to Germany Under-21s' stars Leon Goretzka and Maximilian Philipp have ruled the duo out of contention during the upcoming games against Russia and Austria this week.
Philipp, on the other hand, had played in Freiburg's close 1-0 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt despite suffering with illness, as Vincenzo Grifo's goal had last season's relegation play-off winners a crucial win.
Impressive campaigns for both
Philipp was part of the German Olympics side that won the silver medal after succumbing to the Brazilians on penalties on their territory, while Goretzka had withdrawn from the side due to a shoulder injury.
Goretzka, who had made 25 appearances under Andre Breitenreiter last season as the Die Knapped had finished fifth last season, has made four Bundesliga appearances, scoring once and has netted just as many times in two Europa League showings under Markus Weinzierl.
Philipp, on the other hand, had appeared 31 times for Freiburg during their promotion campaign in the 2.Bundesliga last season. The Berlin-born midfielder has made six appearances this season, scoring three times for Christian Streich's side.
Akpoguma comes in
In place of the Goretzka and Philipp, Fortuna Dusselforf defender Kevin Akpoguma has been brought in to represent Stefan Kuntz's youngsters, who will take on Russia in Ingolstadt on Tuesday and will then lock horns with Austria on Tuesday at St. Polten.
Akpoguma, 21, has made eight appearances for Fortuna this season and represented the Under-20s side in the World U20 Championship. On loan from Hoffenheim, the defender has Nigerian roots and is a product of the Karlsruher youth academy.