More injuries, and the Kicker line-up...

As as usual form in the days leading up to any match, there has been the usual spate of weekend injuries that has affected the team that will line up on Wednesday in Bremen against France.

Skipper Philipp Lahm is out with a knee injury – or so we’re told. Dortmund’s defensive midfielder Sven Bender got a crack on the nose at the weekend, and despite not suffering any breakage has decided to withdraw from the squad. Now I’ve read that Miroslav Klose’s chances are sitting at 50/50. I know it’s only a friendly, but this and two more similar matches are all that remains between now and the start of the Euros in June.

Pending the decision on Klose’s fitness, here’s the Kicker line-up:

Neuer – Höwedes, Hummels, Badstuber, Schmelzer – Khedira, Kroos – Müller, Özil, Schürrle – Klose

Apart from Benedikt Höwedes slotting in at right-back – not his preferred position – this is a starting eleven not much different to the one I posted at the end of last week. The only significant difference is the partnership of Mats Hummels and Holger Badstuber as opposed to my choice of Hummels and Jérôme Boateng.

We can only hope that Klose is fit – if just for forty-five minutes to allow Mario Gómez to have a go – and that both Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira suffer mysterious last-minute “knocks in training”. With friendlies in May against Switzerland and Israel to come, this week’s match is the only real test the Mannschaft will face against genuine quality opposition before the Euro opener against Portugal on June 9th.

More injuries, and the Kicker line-up…

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