Injuries allow Germany coach Loew to bring in new faces

PARIS Tue Feb 5, 2013 9:01pm IST

Germany's national soccer team coach Joachim Loew attends a news conference in Paris February 5, 2013 on the eve of their friendly match against France in Saint-Denis, Paris suburb. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Germany's national soccer team coach Joachim Loew attends a news conference in Paris February 5, 2013 on the eve of their friendly match against France in Saint-Denis, Paris suburb.

Credit: Reuters/Jacky Naegelen

PARIS (Reuters) - Germany have been hit by injuries ahead of their friendly soccer game against France on Wednesday but coach Joachim Loew said the problems would allow him to mix in new players ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Germany will be without striker Miroslav Klose and Borussia Dortmund trio Marcel Schmelzer, Marco Reus and Mario Goetze when they play Les Bleus at the Stade de France.

"We've got a problem many coaches have at this time of the year, we have to deal with it," Loew told a news conference on Tuesday.

"We need more than 11 players. It's a year without (tournament) finals so we can test new players," Loew said.

"(Injuries) also allow us to bring in new players ahead of the World Cup."

Loew, who took charge in 2006, led Germany to the Euro 2008 final and to the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup and last year's European championship.

He fielded the second-youngest team in the 2010 World Cup and Germany developed into a side playing eye-catching football as Loew brought in players such as Thomas Mueller, Toni Kroos and Ilkay Gundogan.

"This philosophy has made us stronger even though we need to make adjustments in the front as well as at the back," said Loew, who added that Philip Lahm would play as right back.

The May-June tour to America, where Germany will face Ecuador in Miami and the United States in Washington, DC, will give Loew more chances to integrate new players.

"The American tour will allow us to see other players. Some players will need to rest after a long season and some will be playing in the under-21 European championship in Israel," he said.

With the World Cup in mind, Loew will switch keepers for the France game. Rene Adler will start instead of Manuel Neuer.

"Neuer is the number one but we need to have someone who can replace him if needed before the World Cup. Neuer has to accept the situation," said Loew. "He (Neuer) will be the keeper against Kazakhstan."

Germany top World Cup qualifying Group C with 10 points from four games and lead second-placed Sweden, who have a game in hand, by three points ahead of back-to-back fixtures against second-from-bottom Kazakhstan next month.

(Additional reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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