Germany players hit by illness before France game

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) Seven Germany players have been struggling with illness ahead of Friday's World Cup quarterfinal against France, although coach Joachim Loew is not expecting any of them to miss the match.

Loew says, ''One-third of our squad has been complaining about a sore throat. ... But yesterday and today all players have been training and none were feeling exhaustion. I just hope that stays stable until tomorrow.''

Germany played its group matches in the warmer, northeastern climates of Salvador, Fortaleza and Recife then beat Algeria in the second round in a cool and damp game in the southern city of Porto Alegre.

Center back Mats Hummels missed the Algeria game due to illness but Loew indicated he'll be back against France. Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is also expected back from severe cramps.

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