Germany trio give Loew pre-Euro 2016 boost


Berlin (AFP) – Less than a week before he names his provisional Euro 2016 squad, Germany’s head coach Joachim Loew has been given a boost by three of his stars.

Loew will name his squad at the French Embassy in Berlin next Monday, but has been given good news about injured pair Bastian Schweinsteiger, Germany’s captain, and Sami Khedira, while striker Mario Gomez is in top form.

German magazine Kicker reports Manchester United’s Schweinsteiger is on the road to recovery after tearing the medial ligament in his right knee in March and should return to running training in the next ten days.

Schweinsteiger’s fellow defensive midfielder Khedira is recovering from a calf strain and recently visited the German team doctor in Munich to get the all clear.

“I’m doing well, there’s no reason to worry. There is no danger of missing the cup final against Milan or the European championships,” Khedira told German daily Bild with his club Juventus set to play AC Milan on May 21 in the Italian Cup final.

And Gomez has proven he is in goal-scoring form having scored 25 times this season to become the Turkish league’s top scorer while on loan from Fiorentina at Besiktas to help them win their first Super Lig title since 2009.

Loew is expected to name up to 31 players on Monday, but the squad will then be reduced to 23 on May 30.

He is already without Borussia Dortmund’s defensive midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who dislocated his knee.

Loew has hinted there my be a few surprises.

“As far as the selection of players for a tournament is concerned, sometimes a surprise may well be useful tactically and can generate some energy in the entire squad,” Loew said in an interview with Playboy magazine.

But Loew says Germany’s 2014 World Cup triumph in Brazil will mean nothing in France.

“Like us, every team will start from zero,” he said.

“Whoever wants to be European champions must be able to beat anyone. And we are.” 

Germany start their training camp in Ascona, Switzerland, on May 23 before playing friendlies against Slovakia on May 29 in Augsburg and Hungary in Gelsenkirchen on June 4 before heading to their Euro 2016 base in Evian on June 7.

The world champions open their Euro 2016 campaign against Ukraine in Lille on June 12 before also playing Poland and Northern Ireland in Group C.

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