Germany camp hit by illness

Germany v France World Cup 2014

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Germany’s build up to the World Cup quarter-final clash against France at Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho (Maracana) in Rio de Janeiro on Friday has been hit by a bout of illness in their squad.

Seven players have been suffering from mild flu-like symptoms this week although coach Joachim Low has understandably refused to reveal who is struggling for the last-eight showdown.

Low said he did not want to “dramatise” the situation, but on Thursday confirmed: “It’s too early to make any final decisions about the line-up.”

Defender Shkodran Mustafi will definitely miss the game as he has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a thigh injury.

France coach Didier Deschamps has a decision to make in attack as winger Antoine Griezmann is pushing for a start at the expense of striker Olivier Giroud.

The Real Sociedad star’s inclusion from the first whistle at the Maracana would mean Karim Benzema plays through the middle as a lone striker.

Germany, who last won the World Cup in 1990 in Italy, came through Group G as winners after beating Portugal and USA before knocking out Algeria in the last 16.

They are 2.46 to beat Les Bleus (3.04) in 90 minutes while the draw is 2.99.

France won the tournament back in 1998 on home soil – captained by coach Deschamps – and like all of the teams left in Brazil they also topped their group.

Deschamps’ men then beat Nigeria thanks to two late goals in Brasilia to set up the meeting with the Germans.

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