International news

Loew: I'm not disrespecting England

November 18, 2013
By Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Germany coach Joachim Loew has dismissed suggestions he is not taking his side's friendly with England seriously.

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Germany face England at Wembley on Tuesday night as part of their preparations for the 2014 World Cup, after being held to a 1-1 draw against Italy on Friday.

Mesut Ozil, Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer have not made the trip to London, leading to questions about how highly Loew values the meeting with England.

But Loew said at news conference on Monday: “It was clear that we would experiment a bit in these two games and some players in the second game.

“But I don’t have the impression we are treating the hosts disrespectfully or that we are playing a B-Team. I want to test a couple of young and upcoming players in key positions for the full 90 minutes.”

Loew has revealed some of starting XI, handing Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller, 33, his Germany debut and guaranteeing starts for his club teammates Sven Bender, Marcel Schmelzer and Marco Reus -- while Arsenal's Per Mertesacker will be playing in central defence.

Asked about the quality of Roy Hodgson's England, Loew said: “I still believe that England are a big footballing nation. They have players like Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. Especially in the centre of the field they are experienced. And Roy Hodgson has left his mark wherever he has coached.

“On the wings they have fast players like Andros Townsend. They play with a lot of force, they are dynamic and a lot of tackling power. They also have the players that can make the difference.”

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