Germany VS France Prediction
Another European football classic is on the UEFA Euro 2016 horizon when in Thursday evening Germany and France are on edge to reach the final and “Stade Vélodrome” in Marseille is last venue they must conquer. We have the team with most goals scored at Euro 2016 and also host nation, against Germany, who’re the team with best defense so far but also with massive blow in that zone, due fact that Mats Hummels is suspended for the upcoming semi-final.
Since we have two from the most successful football nations not only in Europe but worldwide, who were considered for the biggest Euro 2016 favorites prior the tournament, stake is certainly huge and this clash can easily be described as a “final”. Winner from the second semi-final and also penultimate game of Euro 2016 will meet winner of the Wednesday’s night scuffle between Portugal and Wales, so no matter what happens in Marseille, winner from it will be considered for main favorite to lift the trophy in Paris. However, he’ll have one day less to recover.
Second immense challenge for Germany on their Euro 2016 route
Germans have finally put an end of the awful statistic when they face Italy and despite they couldn’t won after 120 minutes, “Die Mannschaft” eliminated Italy after one of the most memorable penalty shootouts in Euros’ history. Thus Germany have knocked out Italy for the very first time in their competitive football history. Certainly an achievement which will increase the confidence of the 2014 World Cup champions but there’re some bad news as well. Joachim Löw can’t rely to Mats Hummels as one of the new Bayern Munich players won’t be able to build the rock-solid centre-back duo between him and Jerome Boateng as a result of Hummels’ second yellow card during Euro 2016. Moreover, Mats Hummels’ suspension was followed by more news which every German would not want to hear after the historical triumph against Italy, but however, they’re now confirmed. Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez are out of Euro 2016 and considering poor form of captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, fact that he’s questionable too, Jogi Löw must think about some unplanned rotations in German midfield.
Sami Khedira felt pain in its adductor muscle and he was subbed off early in the quarter-final against Italy. Bastian Schweinsteiger entered as Khedira’s replacement but German captain suffers from knee injury. Mario Gomez was substituted in the second half by Julian Draxler and we do believe that Wolfsburg’s youngster will return in Löw’s starting lineup, while Mario Götze, Lukas Podolski and André Schürrle can compete for position on top of Germany’s attack. There is another option and this includes Thomas Müller to be moved from the right wing to the central forward position, although Bayern’s attacker still seeks its first goal at European Championship finals. He even missed his penalty against Italy.
Nevertheless, Joachim Löw has some options in attack and most of them are completely different footballers than Gomez. Mats Hummels’ suspension looks like the bigger issue and we firmly doubt that Löw will repeat the starting formation he used to counter Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 formation. Germany started with five defenders in the quarter-finals, while we don’t expect the same approach against tightly replete French midfield.
Joshua Kimmich who showed great improvement under Pep Guardiola’s management and composure against Italy (mostly when he executed its decisive penalty shot) deserves the credit at the right-back, while Benedikt Höwedes will most likely start next to Jerome Boateng in heart of Germany’s defense. Despite the penalty caused against Italy, Boateng is one of the strongest defenders in modern football and his presence there will play crucial role if Germany wants to maintain its defensive record.
Sami Khedira’s injury and questionable status of Bastian Schweinsteiger means that Löw must choose among two youngsters as potential partners of Toni Kroos in heart of German midfield. Emre Can and Julian Weigl are both options who can fill the gap and Emre Can seems one step ahead, since he already shows good development under Jürgen Klopp’s management in English Liverpool, as well as he has bigger experience than his younger teammate in “Die Mannschaft”. Emre Can played more important games and two finals in the last twelve months and he has bigger number of international caps. Julian Weigl is one of the rookies of the season in German Bundesliga and Thomas Tuchel (Jürgen Klopp’s successor at “Westfalenstadion”) contributed for the undeniable improvement of the 20-year-old midfielder. In a fact, he’s the only Borussia Dortmund player who made it to the final 23 of Joachim Löw since İlkay Gündoğan and Marco Reus were both injured. This shows how strong player Weigl really is, but we expect Emre Can to be featured in the starting eleven if Schweinsteiger isn’t fit enough to begin.
Leroy Sane is another one from the youngest trio of players (Tah/Weigl/Sane) who are with “Die Mannschaft” in France and he’s the most experienced from them – with three international caps. Schalke 04’s winger can pretend for first team football if Löw decides to change Müller’s position, or even to rest him after the unconvincing efforts, but we doubt that player who owns dual citizenship of France and Germany will make it to the final lineup in Thursday. Thomas Müller’s experience completely tips the scales on his side, but who knows. Nobody expected Löw to start with 5 defenders against Italy, but he did it.
France exploded against Iceland, can they show the same spirit?
France became the first team to score four goals in one half at the Euros and this pretty much shows that their offensive strength is in shape right on time. After all not particularly convincing results so far, Didier Deschamps men have exploded right on time and “The Blues” were brilliant during their 5-2 win over Iceland in the quarter-finals. After all four previous games of the French team they have scored only six goals while for only one night they became the most efficient team at Euro 2016 and saw another marvelous display by the attacking trio Dimitri Payet, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud. All of them are among the top goalscorers and Griezmann independently leads it with 4 goals, while Álvaro Morata and Gareth Bale are joint runner-ups with Payer and Giroud, at least before Wales’ semi-final against Portugal.
Fantastic news for Didier Deschamps from fact that his attacking trio was hinting for its capabilities in the previous rounds, while in the quarter-finals we saw all of them on the scoresheet. Not to mention that Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi and Moussa Sissoko were really solid, but however, we believe that last one will make way to N’Golo Kanté who returns after serving his suspension.
Another first-team player who is back on duty after picking two yellow cards is Adil Rami, whose position was filled by newest Barcelona signing – Samuel Umtiti. The 22-year-old former player of Lyon made his international debut in the quarter-final against Iceland and we can say that he was relatively stable, although Kolbeinn Sigthorsson scored first goal for Iceland in front of him.
Nonetheless, we believe that Deschamps will return both players who missed the Sunday night round and their defensive contribution will have significant role against Germany. They can be pleased from the rest they had and we expect some fresh legs in the French lineup here.
We believe that Deschamps will return to the preferred by him 4-3-3 formation as he switched to a 4-2-3-1 on half-time against Republic of Ireland. It was pretty much influenced by Kante’s suspension who was substituted on half-time when France were in situation to look for comeback. Well, they successfully made it and it happened thanks to the outstanding partnership between Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud. It’s fully up to Deschamps will he challenge Germany with the same formation used against Iceland, with Sissoko operating through the right wing and Griezmann behind Giroud, or he’ll re-switch to 4-3-3 with Kante in the starting XI at Sissoko’s expense. Defensive-oriented player like Kante can be really useful against German machine and French “engine” must show more stamina, bigger desire and better tactical discipline in a first place.
Euro 2016 1/2 finals: Germany vs France – Squads and betting tip
France is among the final four of a major football event for the first time after Euro 2000 when they lifted the trophy with Deschamps wearing the captain armband. Sixteen years later France will be keen to repeat the same success as in Belgium & Netherlands, when “The Blues” won their second European Championship after 16 years of waiting (first Euro won by France was at home turf in 1984). Sixteen years later, part two, France will face its trickiest Euro 2016 opposition so far and their clash against Germany comes only two years after the quarter-final defeat at the World Cup in Brazil. Nonetheless, France have won six of their last nine matches against Germany, despite losing two of the last three encounters vs Germany.
Last meeting between France and Germany was back in November which was won by “The Blues” with 2:0 after goals by Olivier Giroud and André-Pierre Gignac, but as majority of their encounters it was in a friendly match.
Germany and Joachim Löw in particular will be really pleased if his team repeat the same result from mythical “Maracanã” in Rio de Janeiro, but however, this time Mats Hummels won’t be on the pitch so someone else should score for “Die Mannschaft”. Selection headache in German team will be the main challenge for Löw’s attempt to repeat the achievement of France and Spain, which have won the European Championship right after their relevant World Cup triumphs.
Final conclusion and betting prediction
Perhaps the most remarkable football fixture between Germany (West Germany back then) and France remains at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain when both nations met in the same stage (1/2 finals) and the future finalist was decided after penalties. Anyway, score after 120 minutes of play was 3:3, after 1:1 in the regular 90 minutes at “Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium” in Seville. This clash was on 8th July 1982 and almost 34 years France will be eager to take their revenge not only about that game, but for the followed semi-final defeat in 1986, when Germany won with 2:0 in Guadalajara (Mexico). Meanwhile Germany failed to win in the final after eliminating France in both mentioned occasions, but we saw completely different outcome only two years ago, although they met in a quarter-final.
France will try to take advantage from all the damage in the German squad but they cannot afford any, not even small sign, of underestimation in that game. Both teams are capable to score at least once and considering Hummels’ suspension and the not so convincing defensive line which France holds (in our opinion), we found good value in the suggested values for “Both teams to score” in the second Euro 2016 semi-final. Our expectations are for goals by both sides in Thursday night. Either way game looks quite unpredictable.
If there is some team which can properly reply to France’s football aggression that’s Germany, while at the same time if there’s someone who has strong chance to ending Germany’s European Championship dream – that’s surely France.
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli from Italy.
Venue: “Stade Vélodrome”, Marseille.
Possible starting lineups of Germany and France
Germany: Manuel Neuer (c) – Joshua Kimmich, Benedikt Höwedes, Jerome Boateng, Jonas Hector – Emre Can, Toni Kroos – Thomas Müller, Mesut Özil, Julian Draxler – Mario Götze. (4-2-3-1)
France: Hugo Lloris (c) – Patrice Evra, Laurent Koscielny, Adil Rami, Bacary Sagna – Blaise Matuidi, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba – Dimitri Payet, Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud. (4-3-3)