WITH just under three months until the World Cup, the international break is headlined by some massive clashes as sides prepare for Russia.
Reigning World Cup champions Germany host Spain in Dusseldorf while France host Colombia in arguably the two biggest clashes of this batch of friendlies.
Germany v Spain, 6.45am AEDT, beIN 1
Colombia v France,6.55am AEDT, ESPN
Spain coach Julen Lopetegui will use Friday’s high-profile friendly against world champions Germany to test his team against a high-level opponent which “has never stopped progressing” under Joachim Loew.
“This is an important test for us,” Lopetegui said in Duesseldorf on Thursday. “We are aware of the opportunity that this international window represents and these are big matches for us.” Spain, who also host Argentina in Madrid next Tuesday, are unbeaten since Lopetegui took charge after the 2016 European championships.
Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata was a surprise omission from the squad to face Germany and Argentina, while Diego Costa has been recalled.
Lopetegui, a former Real Madrid goalkeeper, has been impressed with what he has seen from world champions Germany.
Germany are on a 21-match unbeaten run which includes five games in winning last year’s Confederations Cup in Russia with a young squad and despite all their stars rested.
“It says a lot about the potential of German football,” said Lopetegui. Germany head coach Loew plans to field a strong team against Spain, but Lopetegui has given no hints as to what team he will name.
“I want to play as many players as possible,” was all he would say on the subject.
The 51-year-old played down the significance of the duel between the World Cup winners from 2010 and 2014 facing off.
“The labels do not interest me,” he insisted.
“What interests me is to play a good match against a big team that will challenge us.”
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