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Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will make his comeback from a nine-month injury break in Saturday's international against Austria as he races to be fit for next month's World Cup, goalkeeping coach Andreas Koepke said on Tuesday.

World Cup winner Neuer, who has been the Germany number one for more than eight years, has not played a single official game since breaking a bone in his foot back in September but Koepke said he was fully on track for the tournament in Russia.

"That's the plan," Koepke told reporters at their training camp in Eppan, northern Italy.
"As things stand now he will play on Saturday. There is nothing in the way and those are the matches he needs. An international against Austria where he will have more to do."

The 32-year-old Germany captain played 30 minutes in their training match against the German Under-20 team on Monday and will again play another 30 minutes when the two sides meet on Wednesday.

The reigning world champions will stay in Italy until June 5, a day after the deadline for the final 23-man squad announcement. Coach Joachim Loew has taken 27 players to the training camp with four facing the cut, including one of four keepers.

"Manuel needs these games after his long injury to be 100 percent fit. It was a basic condition when he came here that he has to shoot out of the blocks," Koepke said.

"From jump strength to mobility there is absolutely no problem whatsoever.
"(It is) Like he was never away. Now it is about reading the game, getting confidence playing the ball with the foot. He is on the road we all imagine and everything seems to be working."

Koepke also hinted a fit Neuer would be their first choice for the tournament ahead of the other three keepers -- Kevin Trapp, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Bernd Leno -- Loew has called up in his preliminary squad.

"Marc won the Confederations Cup last year, had a super season at Barcelona and he obviously would like to play at the World Cup," Koepke said.

"But when it comes to Manuel it is a special situation and he (Marc) can handle it very well."

The Germans, who also face Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen on June 8 in their final warm-up match, are in World Cup Group F with Sweden, South Korea and Mexico. The tournament starts on June 14.

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Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has said that he still believes that he should have been taken to the World Cup but respects the decision made by England manager Gareth Southgate.

Wilshere, 26, made 38 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners this season, his second-highest tally ever, but was still left out of Southgate's final 23-man squad for the finals in Russia.

In his place Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were selected as the central players.
"Think its about time I had my say..." Wilshere wrote.
"It goes without saying that I’m naturally incredibly disappointed to have been left out of the England squad for the World Cup. I’ve felt fit, sharp and strong all season and believe I should be in the squad!

"And given the chance i could have made a real inpact [sic]. However, I have to respect the manager’s decision and would like to wish the whole squad all the very best for the tournament. I will always be an England fan and will be supporting the boys with the rest of the натион

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Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana missed out on England boss Gareth Southgate’s 23-man World Cup squad as club team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold earned a first call-up for the finals in Russia.

Gary Cahill returns in defence, and with goalkeeper Joe Hart absent as expected, the Chelsea defender is England’s most experienced player with 58 caps.

Lallana joins goalkeeper Tom Heaton, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and James Tarkowski on the stand-by list.
Forward Danny Welbeck is rewarded for his form in Arsenal's run to the semi-finals of the Europa League, but 34-times capped team-mate Jack Wilshere misses out with young Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek included after impressing during a friendly against Germany last November.

Loftus-Cheek, 22, has spent the season on loan at Crystal Palace and was pivotal in ensuring they preserved their Premier League status under former England manager Roy Hodgson - playing 27 times as Palace finished 11th in the table.
Alexander-Arnold caps a dream season by earning a place in the squad after making his Liverpool debut in October 2016 and helping his team reach the Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 26.

The uncapped 19-year-old right-back earns a place despite having yet to play for England in only his second season in the senior game.

"The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it," said Southgate.

“We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us."
U21 international Alexander-Arnold trained with England before the friendlies with Italy and Netherlands in March.

He has made 32 appearances for Jurgen Klopp's side this season with Southgate admitting he was excited by the player's ability.

Fabian Delph makes the cut despite winning the last of his nine caps against Spain in November 2015.
But he has played 29 times for Manchester City this term, and gets the nods because of his versatility in being able to operate at full-back or midfield. Ashley Young is also named, and could win a starting spot as a left wing-back.

Southgate explained the decision to omit 75-times capped goalkeeper Joe Hart and Ryan Bertrand, who loses out to Danny Rose.

"Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved," he said.
"With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season."
“Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season but I just felt the others were ahead of him.

“Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.”
Kyle Walker's ability to play in central defence as part of a back three has apparently given Alexander-Arnold the chance of a call-up.

But his Anfield team-mates Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Clyne both miss out on the squad.

“I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,“ said Southgate, whose forward threats are the strongest part of his squad boasting Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Jamie Vardy, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford.

"It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance."
England have warm-up matches with Nigeria at Wembley on June 2 and Costa Rica at Elland Road on June 7.

They begin their finals campaign against Tunisia on June 18 before facing Panama on June 24 and concluding their group G matches against Belgium on June 28.

ENGLAND'S 23-MAN WORLD CUP SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)
Defenders: John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Phil Jones (Manchester Utd), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Young (Manchester Utd), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester Utd), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City)
Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Marcus Rashford (Manchester Utd), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur),

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Spanish national coach Julen Lopetegui has signed a new deal that runs until 2020.

The Spanish football federation announced the deal on Tuesday, with Spain set to start their training for the Russian World Cup.

Lopetegui was appointed in 2016, and follows Germany manager Joachim Low and Belgium's Roberto Martinez in extending his contract before the tournament starts in June.

He has previously worked with the Spanish youth teams, before managing Porto between 2014 and 2016.

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France international Dimitri Payet's hopes of playing in the World Cup were dealt a serious blow on Wednesday when the Olympique de Marseille captain limped off during the Europa League final with a suspected thigh injury.

Payet was a fitness doubt for the final against Atletico Madrid after missing Friday's 3-3 draw at Guingamp but declared himself ready to play the day before the showpiece game in Lyon.

He was crying as he left the pitch in the 32nd minute to be replaced by Maxime Lopez.
The former West Ham United midfielder was a key figure in France's run to the Euro 2016 final, although he has not featured for the national team since a 2-1 win over Belarus on Oct. 10.

The 30-year-old had made a strong bid for a recall by coach Didier Deschamps with an impressive run of form which included inspiring Marseille to the Europa League final, but his injury may have ended his chances of playing in the tournament.
Deschamps is due to make name his squad on Thursday.

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Gremio centre half Pedro Geromel and Corinthians pair Cassio and Fagner were the surprise inclusions in Brazil's 23-man World Cup squad.

Geromel has just two caps but was outstanding in leading the Porto Alegre side to the Copa Libertadores last season.

Fagner and Manchester City's Danilo are the two right backs drafted in to replace Dani Alves, who was ruled out with a knee injury last weekend.

Cassio, who has just one cap, was selected as the third goalkeeper behind regulars Alisson (Roma) and Ederson (Manchester City).
Neymar, who was been out with an injured foot since Feb. 25, is in the squad and expected to be fit by early June.

The only country to win the World Cup five times, Brazil kick off their World Cup campaign against Switzerland on June 17 before playing Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E.
Meanwhile, Argentina named their 35-man long list for the World Cup in Russia with places for recovering Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori and Racing Club's exciting young duo Lautaro Martinez and Ricardo Centurion.

There were also places for uncapped Sporting Lisbon midfielder Rodrigo Battaglia and River Plate goalkeeper Franco Armani.

The list, which must be trimmed to 23 by June 4, included Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala, as well as Manchester United pair Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo.

AC Milan's Lucas Biglia, who has suffered from a recent back injury, was also on the list.

Argentina kick off their World Cup campaign against Iceland on June 16, before facing Croatia on June 21 and then Nigeria five days later.
World Cup winners in 1978 and 1986, the South Americans have not won a major international title since lifting the Copa America in 1993 and have performed inconsistently since losing to Germany in the final four years ago.

Although they reached the finals of the Copa America in 2015 and 2016, they lost both times and their current coach Jorge Sampaoli is their third in four years.

Sampaoli has overseen five wins in 10 matches, with their last three friendly games including a 4-2 defeat by Nigeria and a 6-1 mauling by Spain.

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Tianjin Teda midfielder John Obi Mikel was named as Nigeria captain when the country's provisional 30-man squad for the 2018 World Cup was released on Monday.

Nigeria are the only one of Africa's five representatives from the last World Cup to return for the 2018 edition, which is being hosted by Russia from June 14 to July 15.

The team representing Africa's most populous nation will be looking to improve on their progression to the last 16 in Brazil but the side have been drawn in one of the toughest groups in what will be their fifth World Cup appearance.

German coach Gernot Rohr named 31-year-old former Chelsea midfielder Mikel as his captain for the extended squad, which was announced in a statement issued by the Nigeria Football Federation.
Chelsea wingback Victor Moses was Nigeria's top scorer in the qualifying campaign with three goals, while Mikel, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon and Kelechi Iheanacho weighed in with two goals apiece.

All invited players have been told to report to a hotel in Uyo, capital of the southern state of Akwa Ibom, on May 21 with the final list of 23 players needing to be submitted to FIFA by June 4.
Nigeria have been drawn in Group D in Russia, alongside Argentina, Iceland and Croatia, who they open their tournament against in Kaliningrad on June 16.

Africa's best performance at the World Cup finals were quarter-final appearances for Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010).

Nigeria squad
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC), Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa), Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United).

Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey), Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag, The Netherlands), Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City, England), Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium), Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France), William Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey), Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey), Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria).

Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Tianjin Teda, China), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England), Oghenekaro Etebo (UD Las Palmas, Spain), John Ogu (Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Israel), Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium), Joel Obi (Torino FC, Italy), Mikel Agu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey).

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England), Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium), Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England), Nwankwo Simeon (Crotone FC, Italy), Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars). (Editing by Alexis Akwagyiram and John O'Brien)

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