Manuel Neuer back in Germany squad for Nations League

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Manuel Neuer is on track to play for Germany for the first time in 11 months after he was named to the squad Friday for upcoming games against Turkey, Ukraine and Switzerland.

The Bayern Munich goalkeeper returns to the squad alongside Leipzig defenders Lukas Klostermann and Marcel Halstenberg. All three were left out of Germany’s squad for draws against Spain and Switzerland last month to rest after they played in the Champions League in August.

Since beating the Netherlands in March 2019, Germany’s only wins have come against Belarus, Estonia and Northern Ireland. Germany coach Joachim Löw said wins are needed against higher-ranked opponents in the Nations League ahead of next year’s European Championship.

“We want successful results again, we want to score goals and get wins again, we want to score points,” Löw said in comments posted on the German soccer federation website. “We want to work with concentration and intensity, but also to have fun and show that fun on and around the field. We have to present ourselves in such a way to make spectators keen on the national team again.”

Germany plays Turkey on Wednesday in a friendly which will see Löw field a weakened team. That’s followed by Nations League games at full strength at Ukraine on Oct. 10 and at home against Switzerland on Oct. 13.

Neuer last played for Germany in European Championship qualifying wins over Estonia and Belarus in November.

The German soccer federation said five Bayern players, including Neuer, and Klostermann, Halstenberg and Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos will all be excused from playing in the Turkey friendly.

Bayern forward Leroy Sané will miss out with a knee joint capsule injury, while Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen and Paris Saint-Germain defender Thilo Kehrer are also injured. Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gündogan will miss the match after being found to have the coronavirus.

“Today was the first day he came back to the locker room,” City coach Pep Guardiola said Friday of Gündogan. “Still not training with us. He needs two or three days because he was 15 days isolated. In this international break, he will train with the rest of the players who are here and we are going to see.”

The decision to play a friendly during a time of packed schedules has prompted concern at some German clubs. So has the trip to Ukraine, which is considered a risk area for coronavirus infection by Germany’s main public health body.

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Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno (Arsenal), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Defenders: Emre Can (Borussia Dortmund), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Robin Gosens (Atalanta), Marcel Halstenberg (Leipzig), Benjamin Henrichs (Leipzig), Lukas Klostermann (Leipzig), Robin Koch (Leeds), Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea), Nico Schulz (Borussia Dortmund), Niklas Stark (Hertha Berlin), Niklas Süle (Bayern Munich), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen)

Midfielders: Nadiem Amiri (Bayer Leverkusen), Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia Dortmund), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Florian Neuhaus (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Suat Serdar (Schalke)

Forwards: Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Kai Havertz (Chelsea), Luca Waldschmidt (Benfica), Timo Werner (Chelsea)

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