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France will take on Germany in the first quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup, which will kick off from the Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro on Friday.
Where to Watch Live
The kick-off is set for 5pm BST. Live coverage is on BBC One and BBC One HD. Live Radio commentary will be available on BBC Radio 5 Live.
After starting the tournament with a bang, both France and Germany come into the quarter-finals with unconvincing wins in their round of 16 matches.
France left it late against the Nigerians before they secured a 2-0 victory. The French do look strong all over the pitch and showed that they can score goals after scoring eight in their first two matches. They also hold an advantage in the head-to-head record against the Germans (P25, W11, L9, D5).
Didier Deschamps is one of the main reasons for this team performing like they have this tournament. All the players respect the manager and are proud to play under a former World Cup and European Cup winning captain.
He has brought harmony within the team. However, he does have one dilemma, whether to select Olivier Giroud or go with Antoine Griezmann along with Karim Benzema in attack.
Meanwhile, Germany struggled in their game against Algeria and could have conceded more than one, if not for the great defensive work done by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Coach Joachim Low has been criticised for his team selection, especially in defence, where he is playing two centre-backs as full-backs.
The Germans are contesting their ninth straight quarter-finals at the World Cup finals, thus will be slight favourites going into the game. They will also be boosted by the return of Mats Hummels who missed the Algeria game with a bout of fever.
However, this game between the European giants will as always be a tense, high intensity affair. It will also guarantee that a European team will make the semi-finals of the World Cup.
What Managers Say
Didier Deschamps (France): "The players realise that it is a quarter-final of the World Cup. They are finished with being careless. Everyone can dream, including me, but I'm a pragmatist and a realist, Friday is the only thing that counts, the harmonious squad is a pleasure to work with and we will give it everything we've got."
Joachim Low (Germany): "You can't always play fantastic football at a World Cup. You've just got to leave the field triumphant, and that's what we did. We have worked hard, both during the preparation in South Tyrol and here in Brazil, and realised what we must improve. It's only normal that you keep on learning throughout a tournament, and this also helps you recognise your team's finesse. But France versus Germany has always been a classic, they were always very dramatic and tense."
France 2 – 1 Germany
Betting Odds (Bwin)
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W D W W W
- Last Result: France 2 – 0 Nigeria
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W W D W W
- Last Result: Germany 2 – 1 Algeria (a.e.t)
- Injured: N/A
- Suspended: N/A
Probable Lineup: Lloris; Debuchy, Varane, Koscielny, Evra; Pogba, Matuidi, Cabaye; Valbuena, Giroud, Benzema.
- Injured: Shkodran Mustafi (Muscle)
- Doubtful: N/A
- Suspended: N/A
Probable Lineup: Neuer; Boateng, Hummels, Mertesacker, Höwedes; Kroos, Lahm, Schweinsteiger; Özil, Müller, Götze.