Germany’s Loew to rest Bayern, Leipzig stars for Nations League

BERLIN (AFP) – Germany coach Joachim Loew said on Friday he will not select certain Bayern Munich or RB Leipzig players for next month’s Nations League games to allow them to recover from their Champions League campaigns.

“I’ve already made up my mind that the internationals who are under heavy pressure due to the delayed end of the Bundesliga and the final tournament in Lisbon will not be called up for the September matches,” Loew told the German FA website.

Germany host Spain on September 3 in Stuttgart, then play Switzerland on September 6 in Basel.

They will be without Bayern’s Manuel Neuer, the national team captain, Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka, all potential starters in tonight’s Champions League final against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

RB Leipzig defenders Marcel Halstenberg and Lukas Klostermann, who bowed out in the semi-final defeat to PSG, will also be missing.

However, Loew said he may well pick PSG pair Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer, as well as, Bayern’s Leroy Sane and Niklas Suele, who are only just back from injury.

“Each of them has had a long period of injury, with phases during which they didn’t play regularly, so they have to get back into a training and competition rhythm,” Loew said of Sane and Suele.

Loew said his priority is not the Nations League, where Germany also face Ukraine in their group, but Euro 2020, which has been rescheduled for June-July 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“There, we will need players who are still in a position to perform at their best,” Loew added.

RB Leipzig’s Marcel Halstenberg challenges for the ball against Atletico Madrid’s Marcos Llorente, during the Champions League quarterfinal match last week. PHOTO: AP