Germany hit by injuries ahead of France clash

BERLIN Mon Feb 4, 2013 9:31pm IST

Borussia Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer, Marco Reus, Robert Lewandowski and Mario Goetze (L-R) celebrate a goal against Bayer Leverkusen during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match in Leverkusen February 3, 2013. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

Borussia Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer, Marco Reus, Robert Lewandowski and Mario Goetze (L-R) celebrate a goal against Bayer Leverkusen during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match in Leverkusen February 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Ina Fassbender

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will be without striker Miroslav Klose and Borussia Dortmund trio Marcel Schmelzer, Marco Reus and Mario Goetze when they visit France in a friendly on Wednesday looking to end a 26-year wait for a win over Les Bleus.

Klose, who has 126 caps and is one short of Gerd Mueller's German record of 68 international goals, was ruled out on Monday after medical checks revealed a partial ligament tear sustained in Lazio's 3-2 defeat at Genoa in Italy's Serie A on Sunday.

"He does not look like he needs surgery," the German football association said in a brief statement.

Defender Schmelzer is out with an ankle problem, midfielder Goetze has a flu virus and Reus picked up an adductor muscle injury in Sunday's 3-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen.

Another Dortmund player, midfielder Ilkay Guendogan, will make the trip despite a minor injury while team mate Sven Bender has been called up after the string of pullouts.

His twin brother Lars will also travel to Paris after also undergoing a medical check in Munich for a minor injury, the DFB said.

Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger had already been ruled out of Wednesday's game with a minor knock.

The spate of withdrawals are a worry for Germany who have lost five of their last six meetings with France and last beat Les Bleus in August 1987.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be in the stands on Wednesday as well as some 12 former Germany internationals who were part of the team that beat France in the 1982 World Cup semi-finals, as part of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of a pact sealing the two countries' post-war reconciliation.

"Records are there to be broken," said manager Oliver Bierhoff. "A win would be a good morale boost for our team."

Coach Joachim Loew is set to start with in-form Hamburg SV keeper Rene Adler instead of first-choice Manuel Neuer.

Adler lost his starting spot to Neuer after sustaining a rib injury ahead of the 2010 World Cup and has not played for his country for more than two years.

"I am happy to be part of the team again," he said. "It is a sensational experience because I know how quickly things can change."

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Tony Jimenez)

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