Prove yourselves, German stars told for French test
BERLIN – Agence France-Presse
Joachim Löw has told his Germany side to prove themselves in Nov. 14's friendly against France as the defending champions' sharpen their preparations for next year's World Cup.
Security will be tight in Cologne as the friendly takes place almost two years to the day since the Paris terror attacks of Nov. 13, 2015, when 130 people were killed and over 400 were injured.
On that night, three suicide bombers set off devices at the Stade de France during a France v Germany friendly and the shocked German players had to spend the night at the stadium during a security crackdown.
"Memories of that night still come back, it was a dramatic experience and one you would not want to experience again," said Löw on Nov. 13.
"Over time, you can block it out. I don't feel unsafe and I have confidence in the security."
However, the pre-match focus in Cologne was on the football.
Löw is set to field first-choice midfielders Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos, who missed last week's goalless draw against England at Wembley with a gastrointestinal infection.
"I want to see if certain players can prove themselves against the best," said Löw.
"The most important thing won't be the most important thing. Mistakes could be made, which will be learnt from. I want to try things out and make changes during the game.
"We wanted two games in November against teams on the same level as us. We want to test a few things, but it will be a different game to the one against England.
"The French have players who always go forward, I think they will be more dangerous than England and we want to be better in that regards."
Löw treated his squad to a speedboat ride down the Thames after holding England at Wembley, but the players were all business in a high-tempo training session in Cologne on Nov. 12.
Löw will again field an experimental line-up with Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Kevin Trapp set to start.
The Germans came through their World Cup qualifying campaign with a perfect record of ten wins.
To ensure they face stiff tests before the World Cup kicks off in Moscow next June, the Germans will also face Spain and Brazil in friendlies next March after their final match of 2017 against the French.