Alongside Sane, Bayer Leverkusen duo Bernd Leno and Jonathan also miss out, as does Freiburg striker Nils Petersen.
Germany manager, Joachim Low, revealed in a press conference that the competition was close between Sane and Brandt, with the Leverkusen winger picked on the basis of his greater defensive qualities and versatility.
It is true that Sane had his ups and downs even at City last season - his lows have been nearly as eye-catching poor as his highs have been eye-catchingly spectacular.
Bayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer made his first appearance since September in the 2-1 defeat by Austria in a rain-delayed friendly on Saturday and showed no ill-effects. "Leroy has a huge talent", he said.
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The 'keeper said his careful reintroduction had been a deliberate ploy - he didn't play a single match for Bayern before joining up with the national squad.
'It was a very close decision. "If it was a 100m race, it would have been a photo finish".
He has found it hard adapting to Low's system, where he has been deployed in a central role, and the Germany coach can rely on Brandt more in defensive situations too. These are four players who had merited their place in the provisional squad through their performances.