Wednesday, 6 July 2016
Euro 2016: Germany forced to make key changes for semi-final vs France
Germany coach Joachim Loew has been forced to make changes to his team for Thursday's semi-final against hosts France at Euro 2016 because of injuries and a suspension, including replacing key goalscorer Mario Gomez. Gomez, whose two goals helped the world champions to the last four, hasbeen forced out of the rest of the tournament with a pulled hamstring. Holding midfielder Sami Khedira will also miss the clash because of a groin injury. Central defender Mats Hummels completes the trio of absentees, sitting out the game due to suspension following a second booking in the Germans' quarter-final victory over Italy on penalties.
SCHWEINSTEIGER ALSO A DOUBT
Chasing a fourth European title, Germany could also be without Bastian Schweinsteiger. Loew has ruled out using his captain unless he has recovered fully from a knee ligament injury. The German boss has to decide what to do with his forward line and whether to use Mario Goetze, Lukas Podolski, Thomas Mueller or Leroy Sane. Goetze and Mueller have both been struggling with their form.In defence Loew is unlikely to deploy a three-man central defence as he did against Italy. "Against France I still have to think about it. Italy are a team with automated plays. They are world class in playing them but they are predictable," Loew told reporters."France are different. They constantly change positions, they are much more unexpected and difficult to predict." Loew is likely to use Emre Can as Khedira's replacement with Benedikt Hoewedes slipping into the central defence for Hummels.