PARIS, France (Sporting Alert) — Germany and France, two of European football’s powerhouses, will clash in a friendly football international at Stade de France in Paris on Wednesday night.
Watch Live on ESPN3.com and ESPN2.
Both teams have been hit back setbacks, following the withdrawal of several call-ups.
Germany coach Joachim Low sees five players from his initial squad, including Borussia Dortmund duo Marcel Schmelzer and Mario Gotze, pulling out of the contest, but he remains positive.
Marco Reus, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose all miss out as well.
“It’s not a setback,” Low said. “These problems have been around as long as we’ve been playing international games.
“You get injuries and illnesses, especially in February or in November. Certainly it’s frustrating for a coach, but you’ve got to be able to cope with the situation and prove that we have more than just 11 good players in Germany.”
He added: “We have got to be ready to test this kind of a situation in case it arises in a tournament and that is what a year like this one, without any major tournament, is all about.
“It is about putting together a squad where we have at least two players suitable for every position.
“I think we have a good squad overall, even if we are without these players.”
Results of each team’s last 5 matches across all leagues and competitions
|France last 5 matches|
|Germany last 5 matches|
|12/10/12||(a)R. of Ireland||1-6||W|
France, in the meantime, are without Real Madrid center-back Raphael Varane, who pulled out of the contest and was replaced by Newcastle United’s Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Coach Didier Deschamps will field a very strong line-up, which could include the likes Karim Benzema, Franck Ribery, Patrice Evra and Moussa Sissoko and he’s expecting a good showing from his side.
“There were plenty of worries before our games against Spain and Italy, but now, there is an optimism brewing,” he said.
“We now need confirmation. We need to build on our last two matches to fulfil our goal of 2013, which is qualifying for the World Cup.
“We have five more games to play in qualifying and there is a long way to go, but we must not sit back because human nature dictates that, when things are going well, you start to think that everything is going very well, and I don’t want us to take a slap in the face tomorrow.
“We are playing Germany at the Stade de France and I cannot see how anybody can take such a match lightly.”
Germany were beaten 2-1 by France the last time these two teams met.
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POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUPS
FRANCE: Lloris, Debuchy, Koscielny, Yanga-Mbiwa, Evra, Sissoko, Cabaye, Matuidi, Menez, Benzema, Ribery
GERMANY: Howedes, Hummels, Mertesacker, Lahm, Khedira, Kroos, Muller, Ozil, Podolski, Gomez