Things start to get serious now as we enter the World Cup quarterfinals, which kick off with the meeting of two old rivals, France and Germany.
Where to watch –
The 12 PM EST/9 AM PST kick-off can be watched at –
Nestor Pitana (Argentina)
Starting lineups –
France: Lloris (c), Debuchy, Evra, Varane, Sakho, Cabaye, Valbuena, Benzema, Griezmann, Matuidi, Pogba
Germany: Neuer, Howedes, Hummels, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Klose, Muller, Lahm (c), Kroos, Boateng.
Germany dominated Algeria in their last game, which was evidenced by their 29 attempts on goal throughout the match. Then enjoyed almost two-thirds of the possession as well and had an impressive 82% pass completion rate.
As for France, they had a comparatively stiffer outing against Nigeria who restricted them to just 9 shots on target. They even slightly edged France in possession with 51% – something which they will have to work on against Germany.
France and Germany have met on 25 occasions previously, and it is the French who lead the head-to-head record with 11 wins compared to Germany’s 8. While comparing their respective numbers this World Cup, there is not much to separate these two teams.
While Germany have so far scored 9 goals to France’s 8, and boast a superior shot accuracy % (70% compared to France’s 60%), France have more attempts on goal per game (19.3 to Germany’s 16.5). Both have the same pass completion rate of 80% as well.
Players to watch –
The Germans were made to sweat in the Round of 16, but it was due to the composed and collected Mesut Ozil who turned out to be the difference. He will have a major role to play today as well.
It was the young Paul Pogba who opened the scoring for France last time, apart from having a fantastic overall performance in midfield. He will have his work cut out for him in halting the likes of Ozil and Kroos (if they are not one of those affected by the flu and manage to play today).
Expect it to be a battle that will be won in midfield. Khedira, Ozil and Kroos will have an intense battle against Pogba, Valbuena and Cabaye. Though Germany are slight favorites to win this game, I expect it to be an intensely fought game and one which could possibly go to penalties. In the end, I feel Germany will emerge triumphant.