Germany coach Joachim Loew resisted the urge to call up any new players on Wednesday for a friendly against France despite injury ruling out several senior members of his squad.
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Loew selected 22 players for next Wednesday’s match in Bremen, ignoring the chance to bring in new faces ahead of the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine later this year.
Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, Borussia Dortmund playmaker Mario Goetze, Cologne striker Lukas Podolski and Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker are out due to injury.
”We have a few injured players and we have some players who are in good form now, but they could lose that form over the new months,” said Loew, referring to Hannover striker Jan Schlaudraff and Borussia Moenchengladbach forward Mike Hanke.
Neither Schlaudraff or Hanke have played for Germany since 2007.
”The door is never completely closed. There’s always the chance a player could jump in a short notice,” said Loew, who has kept his faith in Cacau, despite the Brazil-born striker losing his starting place at Stuttgart.
The coach opted to pick only two goalkeepers on Wednesday, with Werder Bremen’s Tim Wiese deputizing for Bayern No. 1 Manuel Neuer. Hannover’s Ron-Robert Zieler, who made his debut on Nov. 11 in Ukraine, was not called up.
”The experience of preparing for the last tournaments has shown that it doesn’t make sense to try and predict, already in February or March, who is most likely to be in the squad in the end,” Loew said. ”And we can only make our decision shortly before we set sail.”
Germany has not won a title since winning the 1996 European Championship in England.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen).
Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Oezil (Real Madrid), Marco Reus (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Simon Rolfes (Bayer Leverkusen), Andre Schuerrle (Bayer Leverkusen).
Forwards: Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Cacau (Stuttgart).