Saturday, October 21, 2017

Prediction: Germany vs France

Verdict: France to qualify

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: William Hill

Germany were somewhat fortunate to get past Italy in spite of an under-par performance, but they should face a much tougher task against tournament hosts with quite a few important players missing. France, on the other hand, finally turned on the style to hammer Iceland and they will be looking for more of the same at Stade Velodrome.

Germany

While Germany impressed to lift the 2014 World Cup trophy, the success also created some problems for Joachim Low, who needed a while to rebuild his squad after several star players retired from international duty. That was the main reason why Die Mannschaft were not seen as leading contenders for the Euro 2016 title, and, in all fairness, they failed to impress in the group stage, riding their luck at times. However, Germany finally hit the ground running in the first knockout stage, producing an excellent display to defeat Slovakia 3-0, with Julian Draxler playing a key role in the impressive triumph. And just as Die Mannschaft were tipped to see off injury-plagued Italy, Joachim Low showed he lacked courage to take this side all the way in France, leaving the Wolfsburg midfielder out of the side in favour of adding a third centre-back. Germany’s uncharacteristic cautious approach gave what was an average Italy side a chance to win the tie, although Die Mannschaft were fortunate enough to win the penalty shoot-out and set up a semi-final date with France. However, with the team clearly out of confidence and several first team regulars unavailable for selection, we don’t see how they are going to match in-form France.

Team News

Mario Gomez and Sami Khedira have been ruled out through injury, whereas Mats Hummels misses the France game through suspension.

Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger picked up a knee injury vs Italy and he is rated doubtful at the moment.

France

The Euro 2016 is definitely a perfect opportunity for France to end a 16-year wait for a major trophy and at the same time make it three titles on home soil. This is without a doubt one of their best sides in recent years, and Les Bleus are in a very good position at the moment. Granted, their performances at the tournament finals were not always impressive, but individual quality of players like Payet, Pogba, Griezmann and Giroud proved decisive at times when their team effort has failed. Following several under-par performances, Didier Deschamps’ men finally turned on the style to record a 5-2 victory over hard-working Iceland side, thus seriously improving the dressing room atmosphere ahead of the highly-anticipated clash against Germany. Unlike their next opponents, who surprisingly adopted a cautious approach against Italy, France were never afraid to attack the opposition at the tournament finals and with Die Mannschaft struggling for form and missing a host of first team regulars, we are backing Les Bleus to edge one step closer to the coveted title. France have learned to play under pressure and are using home field advantage really well, and no doubt they will be in great spirits after the excellent victory over Iceland

Team News

Unlike his Germany counterpart, Didier Deschamps has absolutely no selection worries ahead of the semi-final clash in Marseille.

The likes of N’Golo Kante and Adil Rami should be back to the side after serving suspension, with Moussa Sissoko and Samuel Umtiti set to make way.

Key Factors to Consider

  • France have five wins in ten meetings with Germany (D2 L3)
  • At least one team failed to score in six of their last eight meetings
  • Griezmann, Giroud and Payet scored 10 goals between them at Euro 2016
  • Germany is without three starters from the Italy match
  • France can win third major trophy on home soil

Conclusion

Germany are going through a very rough patch at the moment, they have failed to impress so far and the likes of Hummels, Khedira and Gomez will be sorely missed. Meanwhile, France are firing on all cylinders and we fully expect them to comfortably secure their place in the Euro 2016 final.

Verdict: France to qualify

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: William Hill

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