Germany coach Joachim Loew has confirmed Arsenal star Mesut Ozil will be afforded a rest this week as he seeks to experiment with other players against England at Wembley.
Ozil featured for 30 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Italy over the weekend that ended on a sour note with Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira tearing his anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament.
Loew announced that Ozil as well as Bayern duo Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer will be rested for Tuesday’s friendly encounter with The Three Lions as he hopes to give others a chance to impress:
The England match is one of the last chances for us to experiment in terms of tactics and personnel. Philipp Lahm, Manuel Neuer and Mesut Ozil belong to the absolute core of the team, and for me it is now more important to hand an opportunity to other players in the key positions, especially against a great team like England.
The news will come as somewhat of a relief that the attacking midfielder has played a limited role during the friendlies. He has played a huge amount of football since moving to north London, and suffered from sickness recently. A less intense international break will bode well for his upcoming Arsenal fixtures after appearing to suffer from fatigue in recent weeks.
Per Mertesacker is set to link up with the national team this weekend after missing Arsenal’s loss to Manchester United through illness and consequently the trip to Italy.
Elsewhere, Laurent Koscielny will sit out Frances vital second leg against Ukraine through suspension, as Les Bleus hope to overturn a 2-0 away loss in Kiev. The Gunners centre half had a night to forget conceding a penalty and seeing red in the dying minutes of the tie. Bacary Sagna was an unused substitute but could be reinstated to the lineup in their homeland this week.
Olivier Giroud also struggled to make an impact but will hope to lead the line with more effect against Ukraine to help avoid France missing out on their first major tournament in 20 years.