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France boss Deschamps wary of stuttering Germany in Euro 2020 opener


Munich (Germany) (AFP) – Didier Deschamps insisted on Monday that world champions France cannot afford to take Germany lightly in a clash of European powerhouses at Euro 2020.

France and Germany open their European Championship campaigns in Group F with a mouth-watering showdown at Munich’s Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

France sit second in the FIFA rankings, 10 places above the Germans, and start as the title favourites, while Joachim Loew’s Germany are under pressure to put their stuttering form behind them.

A 6-0 thrashing by Spain last November and a shock home defeat by North Macedonia earlier this year have dented German confidence further following their group-stage exit at the 2018 World Cup.

But Deschamps talked up Germany’s chances on Monday, warning Die Mannschaft have a “positional game that is not confined to a certain part of the pitch”.

“They can exploit the whole pitch, up front or at the back,” Deschamps said in Munich.

The France boss insists the Germans have the talent, like Chelsea striker Timo Werner and Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry, to cause Les Bleus problems.

“We have to see that we limit their influence on the game,” added Deschamps.

France captain Hugo Lloris said the Germans will want to make home advantage count as they also host European champions Portugal on Saturday, then Hungary on June 23.

“Germany are motivated and will start with a lot of ambition. They are playing at home, we expect a very difficult game,” said the goalkeeper.

“It’s up to us to write our own history. It’s a key game, we have to be wide awake right away to start the tournament well.”

Germany’s defence have conceded 20 goals in their last 13 matches and Loew is set to start with a back three to deal with France forwards Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema.

However, Lloris warned the visitors will also have to work hard to defend against a German side which likes to attack.

“I understand that people always emphasise the attack, but we have to focus on striking a good balance first against a great footballing nation,” added Lloris.

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