Germany: Neuer; Boateng, Mertesacker, Hummels, Howedes; Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Kroos; Ozil, Muller, Gotze.
France: Lloris; Debuchy, Varane, Sakho, Evra; Cabaye, Pogba, Matuidi; Valbuena, Benzema, Griezmann.
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Germany and France will meet on Friday at the Maracana to open the quarter final fixtures.
Both nations have started off the tournament well, but while France’s form continued to improve, Germany’s faltered a bit.
Having started the World Cup with an impressive 4:0 thrashing of Portugal, Die Mannschaft struggled against Ghana and the U.S., but still managed to top their group. The Germans did not expect to face any major challenges against Algeria in the round of 16 last week, but the North Africans proved a hard side to beat and forced Jogi Loew’s men into 120 minutes of sweat, before finally succumbing to Andre Schurlle and Mesut Ozil goals in extra time.
France dominated their clash with Nigeria in the first round of the knockout stages, and managed to overcome the tough Super Eagles backline featuring one of the tournament’s best goalkeepers, Vincent Enyema, through late goals by Paul Pogba and Josef Yobo (own goal). Didier Deschamps’ men look more and more like a cohesive unit, and their 10 goals in the tournament thus far, equal their previous tally from their last three World Cups combined.
Bottom line: It may be the French who look the better side currently, but should the Germans return to their earlier form, they should be able to overcome this hurdle as well.
Prediction: France 1 – Germany 2
Some essential facts and stats to help with online betting:
Germany have beaten France only once in six meetings since the reunification, while France defeated them four times (1 draw).
France have only one defeat in their last 15 matches.
France’s 10 goals in this World Cup, equals their previous tally from their last 3 World Cups combined (13 games, 10 goals).
In 83 years, France and Germany have only played 3 competitive matches (WC ’58, ’82, ’86)
Germany have reached the World Cup quarterfinals for a record 16th time.
Karim Benzema has scored 9 goals in his last 9 international appearances for France.
Thomas Muller has scored 9 goals in 9 World Cup games for Germany