2013 Starts in Paris: Squad News

Has it been so long? My plan was to write a couple of articles over the Winterpause, but it just didn’t happen. Real life, work, and what can best be described as winter writer’s malaise… I have no excuses.

This week however sees the Nationalmannschaft head off to France for one of those so-called “prestige friendlies” – the first gathering of the squad since the goalless bore-draw against the Netherlands back in November last year. It is a reverse of the fixture played in Bremen that kicked off 2012 – a game that saw the debut of the Mannschaft’s new green away Trikot and a disappointing 2-1 defeat that added to the long and barren run against Les Bleus.

Germany have now gone six games without a win against the French, a record that stretches back to 1987 and a 2-1 victory in Berlin courtesy of a Rudi Völler brace. That’s before most of the current squad were even born.

With the winter break and few injuries, Joachim Löw’s squad looks pretty much the same as that selected for the game in Amsterdam. There are two keepers, with the recalled René Adler keeping out the chasing back behind fixture Manuel Neuer, and the defensive selection sees no change. There are no great surprises in midfield either, with Schalke 04’s Roman Neustädter missing out. Neustädter’s place in the twenty-three man squad is replaced by the recalled Mario Gómez, who returns after a long injury break to join veteran Miroslav Klose.


Manuel Neuer (Bayern München, 36 Apps/0 Goals)
René Adler (Hamburger SV, 10/0)


Jérôme Boateng (FC Bayern München, 28/0)
Benedikt Höwedes (FC Schalke 04, 10/1)
Mats Hummels (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 23/1)
Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München, 95/5)
Per Mertesacker (Arsenal FC, 85/2)
Marcel Schmelzer (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 9/0)
Heiko Westermann (Hamburger SV, 24/3)


Lars Bender (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 11/1)
Julian Draxler (FC Schalke 04, 3/0)
Mario Götze (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 20/3)
İlkay Gündoğan (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 4/0)
Sami Khedira (Real Madrid CF, 36/2)
Toni Kroos (FC Bayern München, 34/4)
Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München, 38/10)
Mesut Özil (Real Madrid CF, 43/14)
Lukas Podolski (Arsenal FC, 106/44)
Marco Reus (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 14/5)
André Schürrle (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 20/7)
Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München, 97/23)


Mario Gómez (FC Bayern München, 57/25)
Miroslav Klose (SS Lazio, 126/67)

Pre-Match Facts

Germany’s overall record against France is poor, with seven wins, six draws and eleven defeats in twenty-four matches played since 1931. Since a period of German dominance in the 1980s that included two World Cup semi-final victories, no German team has managed to get the better of their western neighbours. It will be the third match between the two sides to be played at the Stade de France, and the Mannschaft has yet to even register on the scoresheet at the ground: the French would win the first encounter 1-0 in 2005, which would be followed by a goalless draw four years later.

After a decent build up the French flattered to deceive during 2012, squeaking their way into the quarter-finals where they were beaten by eventual winners Spain. The defeat would lead to the dismissal of coach Laurent Blanc, who would be replaced by another of the heroes of their 1998 World Cup win, Didier Deschamps. Les Bleus have had an encouraging start to their qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup, securing two wins against Finland and Belarus before snatching a late, late equaliser against the Spaniards.

Germany did manage to keep a clean sheet against what was a quiet and subdued Dutch side at the end of 2012, but will still have the catastrophic 4-4 draw with Sweden at the back of their minds; hopefully we will see a more measured performance against the French, with what should be a fairly straightforward double-header against Kazakhstan to follow in March.

Miroslav Klose is still one behind Gerd Müller’s long-standing record of sixty-eight international goals, and will be looking once again to draw level or even overtake the great Der Bomber. There would be no better place to do it than the Stade de France.

2013 Starts in Paris: Squad News
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One thought on “2013 Starts in Paris: Squad News

  • February 2, 2013 at 16:11

    Once again, the top Bundesliga scorer is left out for Gomez, who is just back from injury and not a first choice for Bayern.

    Watch out for Pettersen, he is maturing as a striker and might be a choice soon.


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