|World Cup 2014|
ScheduleFriday, 4 July 2014 at 16:00 GMT / 17:00 UK / 21:30 IST
VenueEstádio Maracanã (Rio de Janeiro)
Next Friday, two former World Champions, France and Germany, will measure forces at the overwhelming Estádio Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro for the Quarter-Finals of the World Cup tournament.
France had to work a lot to unlock the Nigerian team’s defence line when they went head-to-head last monday on the first Round of 16 match of the day. After a leveled first-half, France looked stronger after the break but, nevertheless, they only managed to open the score on the 79’ minute thanks to a goal by Juventus’ midfielder Paul Pogba. It wasn’t an easy match for the French side and the soothing goal only came on the dying moments of the match, thanks to an own goal from Yobo.
Didier Deschamps, who rarely changes his usual 4-3-3 approach, tried something slightly different by playing with two centre forwards, Giroud and Benzema. In fact, the Real Madrid’s versatile footballer acted as some sort of inside forward or a false nine, as Valbuena assumed the winger role on the other side of the pitch. Deschamps’ strategy didn’t go as planned and on the 62’ minute he replaced Giroud by Griezmann, thus allowing Benzema to get back to his usual place in the box and France became more dangerous.
For the match against Germany, the French manager will probably leave Giroud on the bench and promote the return of Griezmann to the starting line-up, thus returning to his classic 4-3-3 approach, with two inside forwards / wingers supporting Benzema, the lone ranger up in the front.
As for Germany, the match against France will be, at least in theory, their most complicated clash in this tournament so far. Last Monday, Die Mannschaft struggled to defeat a very well organized Algerian side and they needed the extra-time in order to win. During that specific period of the match, the Germans looked more mature and slightly less fatigued and because of that they managed to grab the win.
For the match against Les Bleus, the German manager Joachim Löw is not yet certain if he will be able to rely on the contribution of Hummels and Schweinsteiger, two of his most important players, since they are still recovering from their respective injuries.
France have already proved to be fairly inconsistent at times and because of the that, Germany have to be considered favourites for next Friday’s match.
Stats: W-4 L-0 D-1
Recent Form - WDWWW
Stats: W-4 L-0 D-1
Recent Form - WWWWD
France (4-3-3) - Loris - Debuchy - Koscielny - Varane - Evra - Cabaye - Matuidi - Pogba - Griezmann - Valbuena - Benzema
Germany (4-2-3-1) - Neuer - Hummels - Mertesacker - Boateng - Howedes - Khedira - Lahm - Kroos - Özil - Götze - Müller