German coach Joachim Loew gestures during a match. Photo: Xinhua/Xu Zijian

COLOGNE, Germany - World champions Germany have ended 2017 unbeaten but the latest friendly draws with England and France have given coach Joachim Loew plenty to think about ahead of their title defence next summer.

The players in Germany's potential pool for the World Cup in Russia must return their focus to club matters until March but Loew now has time to reflect on what he has seen - and continue planning for the World Cup summer.

"It is clear that we are not played in," Loew said after Tuesday's 2-2 draw with France. "The team was rotated a bit in the two games against England and France. And France is full of really good players, especially in the attack.

"Why should I be worried? I'm thinking. I know that we have to settle in some things. That has never given me a sleepless night. We know exactly what we have to do."

While Loew is playing it cool publicly, the match with France may have caused more concern than he is letting on. Germany twice trailed to Alexandre Lacazette strikes with Timo Werner and then Lars Stindl, with the last kick of the game, rescuing a fortunate draw.

It can be argued that avoiding defeat to France, the last side to beat Germany at the Euro 2016 semi-finals, is progress and staying unbeaten for such a long spell is undeniably positive.

"It is nice when you equalize in the 90th minute and end the year in such a way," Loew said. "That was a good attack from Mesut Ozil and Mario Goetze.

"But the result did not have the highest priority. It is good when you have a feeling that can come back when behind."

Goetze made his return to the national team as a second-half substitute after an absence of a year and it was his cushioned lay-off which set up Stindl.

"Mario is physically at a very good level," Loew said. "He moves very well. But you need to give him more time after half a year without a playing.

"The action that led to the second goal was class. He is on a good way, I am very happy."

Goetze bagged the historic Maracana winner against Argentina at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but, like many players, his place in Russia is not guaranteed.

He himself said he was "going home with a positive feeling, it was a step in the direction," but will be all too aware of the battle coming up for, officially at least, 23 places in Russia.

In reality, Loew will know the identity of the majority he plans to take already even if Goetze's area in attack is one where questions remain.

Werner, now with seven goals in 10 games and blessed with lightning pace, would seem to have the best claim for the striking role up top.

But Goetze finds himself competing with Thomas Mueller, Oezil, Stindl Julian Draxler, Leroy Sane and a host of others for the creative spots behind him.

His next chance to impress in national colours is against Spain in March before Germany meet Brazil a few days later in a pair of glamour friendlies.

Loew has previously insisted that until the World Cup it is the performance rather than result that matters but closing in on a notable mark may change his tone a little.

The current unbeaten run from summer 2016 is now at 21 games so avoiding defeat in March will see the squad equal the record 23 from between 1978 and 1981.

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