Prior to the tournament it was suggested in some quarters that Germany may be a team in decline, following some unimpressive qualifying results, but as Euro 2016 has developed, Joachim Low’s team have shown they remain a powerful force in world football. They had to work hard to overcome Poland and Northern Ireland in the Group stage but they were impressive in brushing aside Slovakia in the Round of Sixteen and they showed great resilience in beating Italy in the Quarter Final.
There is no doubt that France have had a favourable draw for this tournament, but being host nation brings its own pressures, and the French have had to come through some difficult moments. They left it late to beat both Romania and Albania and trailed at half-time in their Round of Sixteen game against the Republic of Ireland, but despite missing some key players, they hit their stride in the Quarter-Finals, thrashing Iceland 5-2 with a clinical display of attacking football.
Germany v France – H2H Stats
This is one of the oldest and most keenly-fought rivalries in international football and dates back to 1931, when a Reinhold Munzenburg own goal gave France a 1-0 victory in front of 40,000 fans at the Stade de Colombes in Paris.
Since then, the record has been fairly even, with France winning eleven times to Germany’s ten and five matches drawn.
When it comes to major tournaments, Germany have the edge, having won three of their four encounters, including the most famous fixture of all, at the semi-final stage of the 1982 World Cup when German goalkeeper flattened French player Patrick Battiston, and Germany reached the final courtesy of a penalty shoot-out.
After their tactical shift against Italy, Germany are likely to revert to their normal 4-2-3-1 shape, but they will have to replace some key players. Matt Hummels, Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez are all out and Bastien Schweinsteiger is doubtful, so we could see Thomas Muller or Mario Gotze playing as a false nine, with Emre Can or the inexperienced Julian Weigl filling in for Khedira. As usual, Germany will look to dominate possession and compress the play in their opponent’s half.
France manager Didier Deschamps took a calculated risk against Iceland, playing an extra attack-minded player, and it paid off, but the availability of N’golo Kante means the French line-up will take on a familiar shape. It will also be boosted by the return of Adil Rami to the defence in place of Samuel Umtiti. The midfield trio of Kante, Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi will be given the task of shackling their opponents, and their three forwards will try to exploit gaps in the German defence.
Germany v France Odds & Betting Markets
Despite their array of rising talent and home advantage, France would be clear underdogs against a full-strength Germany side, but the absence of key players has weakened the spine of Low’s team and gives France a great opportunity.
Matuidi, Kante and Pogba have the energy and strength both to contain the German attacking midfield trio of Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Julian Draxler, and to get forward to support the attack. Antoine Griezmann and Dmitri Payet will also take it turns to drop back and harass playmaker Toni Kroos, while Olivier Giroud will be a handful for the German defence.
The crucial factor could be the absence of an out and out striker. Germany often looks less dangerous without Mario Gomez in the side as his absence robs them of a vital aerial option and there is no doubt that the French central defenders will be hugely relieved not to have to face him. Whether Mario Gotze or Thomas Muller takes up the false nine position, the French defenders should be able to cope and given the energy, skill and confidence that France have shown in their last 135 minutes of football, they are worth backing to edge a fascinating game at 7/4 with 888.Sport.
Odds for First Goalscorer
With no out and out goal-scorer in the German team and no clarity over which midfielder will play as nominal striker, it makes sense to look at the French options in the First Goalscorer market. Griezmann is in form but will have a dual role to perform in this game and now that Oliver Giroud has found his scoring touch, he is the sensible option to score first at 6/1 with BetBright.
Odds for Total Goals
There are question marks over both the German and French defence and both teams are packed with players who can both create and score goals, so this could turn out to be an entertaining affair. Back ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ at 13/8 with William Hill.