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By ESPN Staff
Aug 10, 2006

Loew stands by German World Cup squad

BERLIN, Aug 10 (Reuters) - New Germany coach Joachim Loew has stuck by the squad that finished third at the World Cup under Jurgen Klinsmann for his first match in charge, a friendly next Wednesday against Sweden.

Loew, promoted from assistant coach after Klinsmann stepped down last month, has made only one change - bringing in reserve defender Manuel Friedrich of Mainz as cover for injured centre backs Per Mertesacker and Robert Huth.

The only other World Cup player not included is goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, who retired at the end of the tournament.

'The injury situation has opened the door for Manuel Friedrich and he will get another chance,' said Loew. 'He had a strong performance in the Bundesliga last season and only just missed winning a spot in the World Cup squad.'

The game in Gelsenkirchen will be a re-match of the World Cup second round tie in which Germany beat 10-man Sweden 2-0.

Sweden coach Lars Lagerback came under pressure from the Swedish media to resign after the defeat in Munich but has stayed on.

Both sides will be preparing for their Euro 2008 qualifying campaigns, which Germany start against Ireland on Sept. 2 in Stuttgart, the Swedes are away to Latvia on the same day.

'We're looking forward to the tasks ahead and go into the season full of confidence,' Loew said. 'The Sweden match will revive special World Cup memories. But we realise the players are not yet in top form after the holiday break.'

Goalkeepers: Jens Lehmann (Arsenal), Timo Hildebrand (VfB Stuttgart)

Defenders: Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Manuel Friedrich (Mainz), Marcell Jansen (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Christoph Metzelder (Borussia Dortmund), Jens Nowotny (Dinamo Zagreb)

Midfielder: Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Tim Borowski (Werder Bremen), Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen), Thomas Hitzlsperger (VfB Stuttgart), Sebastian Kehl (Borussia Dortmund), David Odonkor (Borussia Dortmund), Bernd Schneider (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: Gerald Asamoah (Schalke 04), Mike Hanke (VfL Wolfsburg), Miroslav Klose (Werder Bremen), Oliver Neuville (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Lukas Podolski (Bayern Munich).