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Mueller to lead German line, France unchanged

Germany's Thomas Mueller during news conference. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Germany's Thomas Mueller during news conference. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

By John Irish

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - Thomas Mueller will lead Germany's attack in Thursday's Euro 2016 semi-final against France as coach Joachim Loew made three changes while France named the same team that beat Iceland in the last eight.

Mueller has yet to score in the tournament, but in the absence of target man Mario Gomez, Loew has opted to use him as a lone striker and bring Julian Draxler into an attacking midfield position.

Benedikt Hoewedes moves from right back to partner Jerome Boateng in the centre of defence instead of the suspended Mats Hummels with Joshua Kimmich playing at full back.

Captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is fit enough to replace the injured Sami Khedira in the holding role in front of the defence and Emre Can was brought in to bolster the midfield.

France coach Didier Deschamps kept faith with the team that put Iceland to the sword in the quarter-finals, opting for a more attacking 4-2-3-1 formation.

Moussa Sissoko, who impressed on the right of midfield in the last round, keeps out defensive midfielder N'Golo Kante.

Samuel Umtiti continues alongside Laurent Koscielny at centre half instead of Adil Rami who had been available after suspension.

Blaise Matuidi and Paul Pogba continue as holding midfielders to add extra creativity and to counter the German forward threat.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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