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France v Germany Euro 2016 Preview: Can the hosts overcome Germany in semis?

Ross Aylward 6 Jul 2016
  • France play Germany in the Euro 2016 semi-finals on Thursday
  • The rivals clash in Marseille for the right to face Portugal or Wales
  • Will home advantage be crucial for France?
Bastian Schweinsteiger (left) of Germany and Antoine Griezmann of France vie for the ball

France are now looking like they truly believe they can win Euro 2016 and are expected to overcome potentially their biggest test of the tournament against Germany in the semi-finals.

We have fancied Les Bleus for a long time to become European champions on home soil and confidence is now at its greatest, for they put on a dazzling display to sweep aside Iceland by a 5-2 margin to reach the last four.

On Thursday in Marseille, the French go into a showdown with the world champions which would be well worthy of the final itself and will produce the red-hot favourites to lift the trophy regardless of whether Portugal or Wales provide the opposition from the other semi.

Although Germany won the last competitive meeting, 1-0 in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals, we expect the outcome to be different now that France are on home soil and two years further down the line in terms of team evolution.

Didier Deschamps’ side look to be peaking and their confidence can hardly be higher after Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet and Olivier Giroud ran riot against Iceland and that trio are now all among the tournament’s top five goalscorers.

Griezmann is topping the chart with four goals and you have to think France will cause many more problems for the Germany defence than Italy did in the quarter-finals, the Azzurri being strong at the back and well organised but lacking a real cutting edge.

As for Germany, they have been hit and miss throughout the competition and while they have yet to concede a goal from open play, it’s difficult to see them producing a swashbuckling semi-final performance anywhere near their 7-1 drubbing of hosts Brazil at the World Cup two years ago.

Striker Mario Gomez and midfielder Sami Khedira are out injured, defender Mats Hummels – who scored the winner against France in Brazil - is suspended and Bastian Schweinsteiger, as ever it seems these days, is a fitness doubt.

Thomas Muller will surely lead the line but the Bayern Munich forward is still seeking his first ever goal at a European Championship despite his superb World Cup record.

In summary, this looks to be France’s time and although the Germans will undoubtedly make things difficult, the home nation are expected to put themselves within touching distance of the trophy by triumphing in normal time.



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France v Germany Euro 2016 Preview: Can the hosts overcome Germany in semis?

France are now looking like they truly believe they can win Euro 2016 and are expected to overcome potentially their biggest test of the tournament against Germany in the semi-finals.

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