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Spain v Germany

Boateng out, Müller fired up

Manuel Neuer withdrew from Germany’s prestige friendly against Spain on Saturday morning, and Jérôme Boateng has now been forced to follow suit. The centre-back has a sprain in his left calf and will not travel for the game in Vigo on Tuesday, the German FA (DFB) announced on Sunday. Wolfsburg’s Robin Knoche has ben called up as a replacement for Boateng and makes his first appearance in a full Germany international squad.

Mario Götze and Thomas Müller are the only FCB men still in the running to appear in the clash between the reigning European champions and the World Cup holders. The pair are their country’s leading scorers in 2014 with Müller on ten goals and Götze on seven. Both again hit the target in Friday’s laboured 4-0 victory over Gibraltar.

Müller’s fine record

“Whatever happens, it’s been a cracking year with the national team,” said Müller in the build-up to the last international fixture of the year. The striker would have been laughed out of court had he said anything else: his five goals in Brazil were a significant contribution to the Germans’ fourth World Cup triumph, and he has netted four of his country’s seven goals in Euro 2016 qualifying to date.

“But I don’t rate my goals for more than they’re worth,” the 25-year-old insisted. Rather than dwell on his excellent record, he is instead keenly looking forward to the showdown with the Spanish: “It’s a very prestigious fixture and every player wants to be involved.” And although he knows there is still much to accomplish with FC Bayern before the end of the year, even the indefatigable Müller thinks a break will be a good thing: “It’s basically good that Christmas is coming. A two or three-week break every now and then can’t do any harm.”