European Championships 2016 Betting Preview | France v GermanyPublished July 7, 2016
This is a ‘Clash of the Titans’. On the one side is Germany, current world champions, three times past Euro winners, fourth in the FIFA world rankings and a team with few obvious weaknesses.
On the other is France, two times Euro winners, a team with a home crowd behind them and on the back of a thrashing of a team that knocked out England.
France’s demolition of plucky Iceland is their first thoroughly convincing win of the tournament thus far. While there may still remain some questions of their defence, who up until this match had only conceded two goals, both penalties, their attack produced the offensive performance of Euro 2016.
Two badly needed goals from much maligned forward Olivier Giroud and a sublime touch to set up Antoine Griezmann, will have done the Arsenal player a world of good in terms of confidence. It is a testament to how highly Didier Deschamps considers Giroud that he hauled him off after his second because of a fear he might receive a yellow that would keep him out of this game.
Dimitri Payet scored another goal to demonstrate why he is becoming an essential part of the France team, and Paul Pogba put the demons of earlier games behind him into an all-round performance.
Their opponent’s progression to the semi-final was pure Germany. While they had never beaten Italy in a major tournament, a slick move which ended in Mesut Ozil beating Gianluigi Buffon should have been enough until defender Jerome Boateng when he needlessly handled in the area with 12 minutes to go, from which Italy equalized.
In the penalty shoot-out, Germany missed more penalties than they ever have but still managed to beat the Italians greater prolificacy to book their place in the semis.
Leonardo Bonucci’s successful penalty was the first time Manuel Neuer had been beaten so far, but up front Germany still lack a world class center-forward, despite the efforts of Mario Gomez, who spent last year on loan at Besiktas, and the misfiring Thomas Muller.
While both teams have very solid defences, with Germany’s shading it, France have more going forward, and as they showed against Iceland, when they are clicking, they can demolish teams.