France vs Germany Preview

International Friendly | Friday 13 November | Stade de France | 22:00




One of Europe's longest-standing football rivalries will be renewed when Fridays international friendly pits France against Germany. Both sides will use this fixture as preparation for the Euro 2016 which will be held in France. As hosts, Les Bleus automatically qualify for the competition, while Germany topped their group in the qualifying round.   



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To Win (90mins)
France 27/20
Draw 23/10
Germany 19/10

France


France picked up a 2-1 victory away to Denmark last time out, courtesy of a brace from Olivier Giroud, to make it four wins from four games. Just the kind of form they need going into an encounter against the World Champions. Under Les Bleus manager Didier Deschamps, France have most frequently played a clear 4-4-2 formation, operating with three athletic central midfielders who can both win back the ball and break forward when required. 

Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi have emerged as the preferred trio for this role, with their combination of immense physicality and capacity to cover distance quickly in attack and offer an additional body going forward. With defenders comfortable in possession and Hugo Lloris as the captain and established goalkeeper, France are able to play a very high back line in the knowledge that they have a defence with speed to recover and a shot stopper who will happily step outside his penalty area to cover through balls. They'll build play from deep, but not unnecessarily so—a quick wide ball to the overlapping full-backs or in to the feet of more creative midfielders dropping off will be the centre-backs' first port of call when receiving possession.

Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena, embroiled in an alleged sex-tape blackmail scandal, have been omitted from France’s squad for the games with Germany and England. Benzema was placed under formal judicial investigation earlier on Thursday in connection with an alleged attempt to blackmail the Lyon forward Valbuena over a sex video. Giroud will spearhead the attack with the in-form duo of Anthony Martial and Antoine Griezmann on either flank. This deadly trio are guaranteed goals and even a rock-solid defence like Germany’s will have trouble keeping them at bay. 

France Squad 

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille), Benoit Costil (Rennes).

Defenders: Lucas Digne (AS Roma), Patrice Evra (Juventus), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Loic Perrin (St Etienne) , Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Christophe Jallet (Lyon). 

Midfielders: Lassana Diarra (Olympique de Marseille), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace).

Forwards: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Andre Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Hatem Ben Arfa (OGC Nice).



Germany


Max Kruse came off the bench to score the goal that sent Germany to Euro 2016 as Group D winners with a 2-1 victory over Georgia. They topped the group with seven wins from 10 matches, scoring 24 goals and conceding nine times.  A consistent and long-term commitment to playing adventurous, fluid football with great technique and creativity in the final third has been key to Germany's progress and relative success on the international stage. 

That adventurism does not come at the expense of defensive solidity and organisation, though, with the entire squad expected to contribute to working back into position off the ball and denying the opposition room or time to play through. Both full-backs are encouraged to get forward with support play and controlled build-up, while the wider attacking midfielders have great movement and the ability to score goals, regardless of who starts. Joachim Loew has become a philosopher of football. He has changed the dynamics of Germany from static defensive, to a fast aggressive forward moving play. In Loew, Germany have an established coach, who knows all his players strengths and weaknesses, both tactically and mentally. 

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil has been left out of Germany's squad. Loew has also not selected Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos for the games, citing the lack of a winter break in England and Spain as his reason for doing so. Thomas Muller has been in fine form for club and country. The Bayern Munich forward scored nine goals in the Euro 2016 qualifying round and will be the man to take the German’s forward. 

Germany Squad

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Kevin Trapp (Paris Saint-Germain), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover).

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Dortmund), Jonas Hector (Koln), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia), Antonio Rudiger (Roma), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim).

Midfielders: Karim Bellarabi (Bayer Leverkusen), Emre Can (Liverpool), Julian Draxler (Wolfsburg), Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Christoph Kramer (Bayer Leverkusen), Leroy Sane (Schalke), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United).

Forwards: Mario Gomez (Besiktas), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Max Kruse (Wolfsburg), Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray), Andre Schurrle (Wolfsburg), Kevin Volland (Hoffenheim). 

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Betting Verdict: Draw 23/10
It will be their first meeting since Germany won 1-0 in the quarter-finals at the 2014 World Cup. The last time Germany travelled to France was in 2013, where they won 2-1. Although recent head-to-heads point in favour of Germany, France have looked the better team in recent matches. Both sides pride themselves on attacking football, so goals are expected. It should be a tight affair and the score draw looks a likely outcome at 31/10.  

Written by Aaron Crowie for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!