Germany bring in Liverpool’s Can for Euro 2016 debut in semis


Marseille (AFP) – Liverpool’s defensive midfielder Emre Can made his first start at Euro 2016 for injury-hit Germany in Thursday’s semi-final against hosts France.

France coach Didier Deschamps meanwhile kept faith with the same starting side which beat Iceland 5-2 in the quarter-finals, retaining Samuel Umtiti and Moussa Sissoko.

Can wins only his seventh cap alongside Germany’s captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, who has shaken off a knee strain to make his 120th appearance.

Can, 22, takes the place of Sami Khedira who misses the Marseille semi with a groin injury.

With striker Mario Gomez out for the rest of the tournament with a torn thigh muscle, Thomas Mueller takes over up front while Julian Draxler is named on the left wing in Germany’s attack.

With Mats Hummels suspended, Benedikt Hoewedes partners Jerome Boateng at centre-back.

Germany coach Joachim Loew has switched from the 3-5-2 which beat Italy in the quarter-finals to the 4-2-3-1 formation which won the 2014 World Cup.

For France, defender Adil Rami and midfielder N’Golo Kante, who were suspended for the win over Iceland, failed to win back their places in the starting lineup.   

Germany (4-2-3-1)

Manuel Neuer (capt); Joshua Kimmich, Benedikt Hoewedes, Jerome Boateng, Jonas Hector; Bastian Schweinsteiger, Emre Can; Julian Draxler, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil; Thomas Mueller

Coach: Joachim Loew (GER)

France (4-2-3-1)

Hugo Lloris (capt); Bacary Sagna, Samuel Umtiti, Laurent Koscielny, Patrice Evra; Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba; Moussa Sissoko, Dimitri Payet, Antoine Griezmann; Olivier Giroud

Coach: Didier Deschamps (FRA)

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)

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