Germany vs France – Semi Final – 8pm (BBC) – 07.07.16 – Stade Vélodrome, MarseilleWith the other semi final made up of one team without a win inside 90 minutes at Euro 2016 and the other playing in their first tournament since 1958, it’s difficult to avoid saying that whichever side comes out on top of Thursday’s game will becomes favourites for overall winner of the tournament.
Germany’s tournament has been conducted with typical German efficiency – unbeaten and unbreached until a 1-1 draw with Italy in the quarter finals, an uncharacteristically nervous penalty shootout victory over Gli Azzurri saw them claim a place in the final four.
Despite their ruthless streak so far in this year’s tournament, Die Mannschaft looked rattled against Italy and their lack of firepower up front has been cited as their main weakness.
Their striker situation was hampered further by Mario Gomez’s injury in Saturday’s victory, the Fiorentia man becoming another name on an ever growing list of German players who will not feature in the semi final.
Mats Hummels is suspended while Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedeira have both been ruled out by injury, meaning Joachim Loew will have to reshuffle his tactics ahead of such a pivotal game.
France, on the other hand, are the only side in the semi-final without any major absentees.
Les Bleus have enjoyed a strong but slightly inconsistent tournament, relying on late goals to overcome Albania and Romania in the group stages and having to come from behind to beat Republic of Ireland in the round of 16.
A 4-0 half time lead against Iceland in the quarter finals was mildly overshadowed by a 2-1 loss in the second half. Though the game finished 5-2, this result served as a good representation of the type of tournament that the hosts have had.
Both sides have found goals relatively easy to come by, but once put to the sword have begun to waver.
If one team can race into a lead they should be able to hold on but, with Germany chasing back to back international trophies and France unlikely to roll over at their own competition, this has the potential to be one of the games of the tournament.
Recommendation: Both teams to score at 2.00
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Olivier Giroud to score a header now at 10.00
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- This will be the fifth encounter between Germany and France at a major finals tournament, their first in the European Championships
- Germany and France have won 36% of the European Championships (5 out of 14), three and two respectively. They are the top two scorers in the history of the tournament
- France have never kept a clean sheet in their four meetings with Germany at major finals tournaments.
- Germany have won 14 of their last 18 games at major tournaments
- France are unbeaten in their last 17 major tournament games played on home soil, winning 15 and drawing two
- France are the top scorers at Euro 2016 with 11 goals in five games. They hadn’t netted that many in a major tournament since Euro 2000
- 45% of France’s goals at Euro 2016 have been headers
- Thomas Müller hasn’t scored a single goal in 10 games at the EURO he also missed his penalty in the shoot-out against Italy last Saturday
- Germany will be without Mario Gomez who has scored the joint-most goals for the national team at the Euros
- Since Mats Hummels’ first cap in May 2010, Germany have won 72.5% of games without him (29 out of 40) as opposed to 60% when he’s been on the pitch (30 out of 50). He’s suspended for the semi-final.
- Olivier Giroud has scored in each of his two starts against Germany.
- Antoine Griezmann has scored/assisted more goals than any other player at Euro 2016