There’s little argument on who had the tougher road to the semifinals, with Germany earning a gritty win over Italy on penalty kicks. France, meanwhile, stomped on Iceland’s fairytale run with a 5-2 victory.
Will the host nation get another victory and meet Portugal in the finals? Or will it be the battle-tested Germans moving on after their close game against Italy? Find out as we cover this match and discuss which team you should bet on.
France vs Germany (3:00pm EST on July 7)
France vs Germany Overview
Up until their match against Iceland, France had not played well in this tournament. Les Bleus edged by Albania and Romania with late goals and came back to win against Ireland in the quarterfinals. Their shining moment so far came against Iceland in the round of eight, where they easily knocked out a giant killer. In this match, like previous ones, France relied on the offense supplied by Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet, and Olivier Giroud.
As for Germany, their Euro Cup performance has been impressive at times, but below average at other points. They tied Poland and beat Northern Ireland 1-0 in group play, and needed to win on penalties against Italy. Nevertheless, Germany’s 2014 World Cup victory is still giving them confidence moving forward, and they’ve largely played better than France.
There are signs that Les Bleus may be coming around, scoring seven goals in their last three halves of play. This was against less-talented Iceland and Ireland squads, though; Germany won’t be nearly as easy to beat tomorrow.
Germany is Missing Players
The Nationalmannschaft have used a 3-4-2-1 system in all their Euro Cup matches, playing Jonas Hector and Joshua Kimmich as wing-backs. They’ve done a strong job throughout the tournament, and they’ll have to keep playing well due to how many players Germany is missing.
Midfielder Sami Khedira won’t play against France, and fellow midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger could miss the match as well. Possible replacements include Emre Can and/or Julian Weigl, but this creates a tough situation for the Germans.
Mario Gomez is just one more influential player who’ll miss the match. With Gomez out, Thomas Muller, Julian Draxler, and Mesut Ozil will need to step up and make up for their star striker’s absence.
Muller hasn’t scored any goals in the Euro Cup, but he’s doing everything else right. He set up Gomez for a score against Northern Ireland and has also helped Kimmich on defense. It’s likely that Muller will line up on the right and face France’s left-back Evra, who hasn’t been a defensive stalwart so far. Evra had an especially tough match against Iceland while manning the full-back spot. He’s going to need to play his best against Muller in order to slow down the German attack.
Another key matchup will be Jerome Boateng against Giroud. The latter has been huge for France, scoring two goals and assisting on two others. Boateng has also been playing excellent in Germany’s back line, with his only mistake being a handball against Italy. Whoever wins this matchup will have big implications on the final score.
Prediction on France vs Germany
Germany still boasts the fantastic core of players that helped them win the Cup two years ago. But in that run, they were able to keep key players healthy in the latter stages. That’s not the case this time around, though, with injuries to Khedira and Gomez, and Hummels suspended. The replacements are good, but are they strong enough to beat a French team in good form?
For France, the key will be withstanding early German attacks and using the same well-timed counters they did against Iceland. Their 4-2-3-1 formation has paid dividends in the last two matches, especially for Giroud and Griezmann. This attack should be enough to help France prevail against a shorthanded German team.
Final Score Prediction: France wins 2-1
Betting Advice: With the injuries and suspension hitting Germany, France looks really attractive on both the spread and moneyline.