5 February 2013 01:13
Germany will hope to reverse their poor recent record against France when the two sides clash at the Stade France on Wednesday.
The friendly pits two of the best sides in Europe against each other in what is sure to be an entertaining clash as they look to gain momentum ahead of crucial 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers later this year.
There is no shortage of history between the two nations, with Germany – then West Germany – winning two World Cup semi-finals against France in 1982 and 1986 respectively.
But more recently the ledger has been one-sided, with France winning five and drawing one of their last six matches against the Germans.
That includes a 2-1 friendly win last year in Bremen, with Olivier Giroud and Florent Malouda scoring for the victors.
Germany’s recent record in friendlies is poor – they have only won two of their last eight – and manager Joachim Low will be hell-bent on turning that around as well on Wednesday.
He has recalled Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez into his 23-man squad for the match with the 27-year-old set to make his first appearance for Germany since the European Championships in June.
Since the arrival of Croatian Mario Mandzukic at Bayern – who is now the Bundesliga’s leading scorer – Gomez has become a bit-part player at the Bavarian giants.
He has played just eight league matches, scoring twice, a far cry from his last three seasons when he bagged 64 Bundesliga goals in 94 appearances.
Low is also using the fixture as an opportunity to cast his eye over Hamburg goalkeeper Rene Adler.
The 28-year-old will play ahead of regular No.1 Manuel Neuer against Didier Deschamps’ side.
Veteran striker Miroslav Klose is a late withdrawal with a knee injury.
Klose damaged knee ligaments in Lazio’s 3-2 defeat at Genoa in Serie A on Sunday, which could force him out of action for several weeks.
France have included Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema after he missed his country’s last fixture due to injury.
Benzema is just one of many attacking options at the disposal of Deschamps, who can also call on Olivier Giroud, Franck Ribery, Jeremy Menez and Bafetimbi Gomis in the final third of the pitch.
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will be hopeful of continuing his impressive form at Tottenham while Moussa Sissoko also enters the match in high spirits.
The midfielder – who joined English Premier League outfit Newcastle United from Toulouse in the January transfer window – bagged a brace for his new club in a 3-2 win against Chelsea on Saturday.