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Germany coach Joachim Loew selects Cologne defender Hector as only newcomer in squad for Spain

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FRANKFURT, Germany — Cologne defender Jonas Hector was the only newcomer in the Germany squad chosen on Friday for the European Championship qualifier against Gibraltar and a friendly against Spain.

Forward Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund, midfielder Sami Khedira of Real Madrid, midfielder Lars Bender of Bayer Leverkusen and defender Benedikt Hoewedes of Schalke return after injuries. Striker Kevin Volland of Hoffenheim was recalled after making his debut in May.

Striker Mario Gomez of Fiorentina recently returned from injury and was overlooked.

Germany plays Gibraltar in Nuremberg next Friday and visits Spain four days later for the friendly in Vigo. The match brings together the last two World Cup champions.

"It's always special to play current European champion and former World Cup winner Spain," coach Joachim Loew said. "Spain dominated world football in recent years. I have great respect for this football nation, it's going to be an even match. Both teams will be highly motivated."

Loew said Hector had been on his radar for some time.

"We want to get to know him better, he's been playing well for Cologne," Loew said.

PHOTO: Dortmund's Marco Reus, left, scores his side's opening goal during the Champions League group D soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Galatasaray Istanbul in Dortmund, Germany, Tuesday, Nov.4, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Dortmund's Marco Reus, left, scores his side's opening goal during the Champions League group D soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Galatasaray Istanbul in Dortmund, Germany, Tuesday, Nov.4, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Germany is only third in Group D after three qualifying matches, following a victory over Scotland, a loss to Poland and a draw with Ireland.

"We are going to be very focused against Gibraltar and we'll take the match very seriously," Loew said. "We know that we are clear favorites and that's how we are going to play."


Germany:

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover).

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern), Erik Durm (Dortmund), Matthias Ginter (Dortmund), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke), Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia), Antonio Ruediger (Stuttgart), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim).

Midfielders: Karim Bellarabi (Bayer Leverkusen), Lars Bender (Leverkusen), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Christoph Kramer (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Mueller (Bayern), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Dortmund), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea).

Forwards: Mario Goetze (Bayern), Max Kruse (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Kevin Volland (Hoffenheim).

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