Germany got their UEFA Nations League campaign underway with a draw against world champions France at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Thursday.
Germany manager Joachim Löw named three new players and recalled three others for what was his side’s opening fixture in the new European competition. Paris Saint-Germain’s Thilo Kehrer, Hoffenheim’s Nico Schulz and Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz have all been called up to the senior squad for the first time, while Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah, Freiburg’s Nils Petersen and Manchester City’s Leroy Sane are included again. Seven World Cup winners from 2014 were in the running to start in Munich, with one of them – Manuel Neuer – captaining the side in this League A, Group 1 fixture. Cologne's Jonas Hector was named in the squad but has decided, in consultation with Löw, to recuperate during the international break after an intense start to the season with his club.
France brought all but two of the squad that won the World Cup in Russia to Germany, with goalkeeping duo Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda replaced by Benjamin Lecomte and Benoit Costil; Raphael Varane captained Les Bleus in Lloris' absence. Didier Deschamps’ selection included two players currently with Bundesliga clubs – VfB Stuttgart defender Benjamin Pavard and Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso. Pavard started at right-back, while Tolisso and former Borussia Dortmund attacker Ousmane Dembele featured from the bench.
Germany: Neuer (c) – Ginter, Boateng, Hummels, Rüdiger – Kimmich, Goretkza (Gündogan 66'), Kroos – Müller, Reus (Sane 83'), Werner
Unused subs: ter Stegen, Schulz, Kehrer, Süle, Tah, Brandt, Draxler, Havertz, Petersen
Coach: Joachim Löw
France: Areola – Pavard, Varane (c), Umtiti, Hernandez – Kante, Pogba – Mbappe, Griezmann (Fekir 80'), Matuidi (Tolisso 86') – Giroud (Dembele 66')
Unused subs: Costil, Lecomte, Rami, Sidibe, Mendy, Kimpembe, Nzonzi, Lemar, Thauvin
Coach: Didier Deschamps
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- The last meeting of Germany and France was a friendly in Cologne in November 2017, when Lars Stindl got an injury-time equaliser for the hosts. Timo Werner also scored in the 2-2 draw.
- Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels scored the only goal when Germany beat Les Bleus 1-0 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals on their way to becoming world champions for a fourth time.
- Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann – who will face Borussia Dortmund in this season’s UEFA Champions League group stage – scored twice when France got the better of Germany in the UEFA Euro 2016 semi-final.
- Along with Germany and France, the Netherlands are also in Group 1 in League A of the UEFA Nations League. The new competition sees 55 European national teams divided into four leagues – with League A featuring the top-ranked sides. The team that finishes last in each group will be relegated to League B, while the four group winners will try to win the Nations League trophy in June 2019.
- Manuel Neuer (32) is the oldest player in Joachim Löw’s squad, while Kai Havertz (19) is the youngest.
- Following Thursday’s match, Germany will host Peru in a friendly in Sinsheim on Sunday 9 September.