Germany to once again destroy the home team’s chances or Euro glory by beating France
Germany are looking to replicate opponents France and Spain who have in recent years followed up a World Cup win with lifting the European Championship trophy.
On the way to their win in Brazil in 2014, Mats Hummels headed Germany past France at the Maracana and into the semi-final 1-0. Ironically, Hummels will not be able to repeat this feat as he is suspended as a result of a second yellow card received against Iceland.
An interesting statistic is that Germany have knocked out the tournament hosts in four separate EURO semi-finals, beating Belgium 2-1 in 1972 and overcoming Yugoslavia 4-2 four years later. They then downed Sweden 3-2 in 1992 and edged England on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Wembley in 1996.
However, France also have a nice statistic to take into the game. In 1984, when France last hosted the Euros, they played their semi-final at the Stade Vélodrome beating Portugal 3-2 before going on to win the tournament.
However, more than history, the game is between two of the favourites to lift the trophy. Both have strong defences who have let in few goals. Germany have only conceded once, from the penalty spot against Italy in the last round, in a game which ended 1-1 but was won on penalties by the Germans.
Until conceding twice to Iceland in their 5-2 mauling, France had also only conceded from the penalty spot, once against Romania in their first game and another against the Republic of Ireland in the last-16.
In midfield, there is little to choose between the two teams with plenty of guile with the likes of Germany’s Mesut Ozil or Thomas Muller against France’s Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann.
Up front, while France’s Olivier Giroud scored twice and set up another goal against Iceland, Germany’s Mario Gomez has struggled, even though he brilliantly set up Ozil’s goal against Italy.
It will be a tight game between many players who are team mates or play against each other regularly in different leagues.