Soccer

Gomez back in Germany squad for France friendly

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BERLIN (AP)

Mario Gomez is back in Germany's squad for Wednesday's friendly against France in Paris.

Germany coach Joachim Loew announced the squad on Friday, recalling Gomez for the first time since the European Championship semifinal loss to Italy in June following the Bayern Munich striker's three months out with an ankle injury.

''Gomez is in good shape again after his long injury,'' Loew said. ''Like Miroslav Klose, he brings our game philosophy to the position of central striker. I'm convinced because of his qualities and experience that he will prevail again at the highest international level.''

Loew also selected Klose, giving the veteran Lazio striker another opportunity to score the goal he needs to equal Gerd Mueller's German record of 68.

There is no place, however, for Bayer Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling, whose league-leading 13 goals led to speculation of a first call-up since 2010.

Hamburger SV goalkeeper Rene Adler was recalled in November for the first time after two injury-plagued years, and the 28-year-old Adler has another chance to impress after staying on the bench for the 0-0 draw against the Netherlands in Amsterdam.

''Adler played a very strong opening half to the season in the Bundesliga,'' Loew said. ''Now he's earned the chance to prove himself against France. For the decisive World Cup qualifiers in March we'll trust Manuel Neuer again. He's currently our clear No. 1.''

Germany, which leads Europe Group C in World Cup qualifying, plays Kazakhstan twice in March.

The Germans have not beaten France since 1987, when Rudi Voeller scored both goals in a 2-1 win, with Eric Cantona scoring for the visitors.

''I think we've a very good squad, but one which needs to be. France are on the way back to their old strengths and for me are back among the world's best teams, thanks also to outstanding players like Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery,'' Loew said.

''The team impressed me very much in both the last away games in Spain and Italy. You could sense coach Didier Deschamps' signature. I rate him very highly, especially since he loves the fast attacking game as much as I do. The game will be a real tough test.''

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Germany squad:

Goalkeepers: Rene Adler (Hamburger SV), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Heiko Westermann (Hamburger SV)

Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Mario Goetze (Borussia Dortmund), Ilkay Guendogan (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Oezil (Real Madrid), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schuerrle (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Lazio)



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