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Germany's midfielder Mesut Ozil reacts during a training session in Vatutinki, near Moscow, on June 13, 2018, ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. Patrik STOLLARZ / AFP


Mesut Ozil returned from injury to take his place in Germany's starting line-up for the defending champions' opening match of the World Cup against Mexico in Moscow on Sunday.

Ozil had sparked controversy on the eve of the tournament by posing for photographs with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Arsenal midfielder missed Germany's final warm-up with a knee injury.

Marvin Plattenhardt was handed a start at left-back in place of an ill Jonas Hector, while Manuel Neuer made his long-awaited competitive return after eight months on the sidelines with a broken foot.

Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio named an attacking trio of the highly-rated Hirving Lozano, Javier Hernandez and Carlos Vela.

Rafael Marquez was named on the bench as the 39-year-old looks to become just the third player to appear at five editions of the World Cup.

Germany are bidding to win their opening group game at the World Cup for an eighth successive finals, while Mexico's only victory over their Group F opponents came back in 1985.

Germany (4-2-3-1)

Manuel Neuer (capt); Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Marvin Plattenhardt; Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos; Mesut Ozil, Thomas Mueller, Julian Draxler; Timo Werner

Coach: Joachim Loew (GER)

Mexico (4-3-3)

Guillermo Ochoa; Hugo Ayala, Carlos Salcedo, Hector Moreno, Jesus Gallardo; Hector Herrera, Andres Guardado (capt), Miguel Layun; Hirving Lozano, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Vela

Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio (COL)

Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRI)




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