The battle for the semi-finals in the 2015 Women’s World Cup begins today with France facing Germany in the quarter-finals stage followed by the United States taking on China. Today’s matches contain the favorites to win the World Cup and whomever emerges from this bracket of the tournament is favored to win the trophy at the end.

Germany v. France
4:00 PM – FOX
Olympic Stadium – Montreal

It is unfortunate that one of these powerhouse teams will be going home today, but this game is shaping up to be a great battle between two top squads. This is a matchup many would enjoy seeing in a final, but instead it is an early face-off in the first game of the quarterfinals.

Both faced scary moments in the group stages before moving in the Knockout stage in first place. Les Bleus outscored their group opponents 54-3, while Germany held a 54-1 score line through Group play, before both teams easily dispelled their Round of 16 opponents.

In the Round of 16, Germany beat Sweden with a 4-1 victory led by the tournament’s top scorers Anja Mittag and Célia Šašić, now with five goals each. More importantly midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsán found the back of the net and played a critical part in the team’s win, playing her best game of the tournament thus far. Germany played a complete game and exhibited their offensive skills with a variety of goals, showcasing they can score at any time in any way.

Les Bleus’ attack was also firing on all cylinders against Korea Republic in their 3-0 win. France picked Korea Republic’s defense apart with superb passing for an early 2-0 lead in the first half. From there, France simply played a possession game fending off few attacks from Korea and sealing the victory with Marie-Laure Delie’s second goal of the night, her third of the tournament.

Neither of these teams will have it quite as easy in this match.

Both teams are riding into this match high on confidence and attacking prowess. Momentum has been building for both sides since the first game and they enter this match looking their best.

Despite the offense that these two teams have shown so far in the tournament, this game will likely be decided on the backline. Defense wins you championships after all.

It will come down to which team’s defense can step up and make big plays., and what team can limit their opposition’s quality chances as well as which goalkeeper makes the big save. This game could come down to one or two critical stops made by Nadine Angerer or Sarah Bouhaddi.

The last time these two teams met eight mouths ago, France took the win 2-0 over Germany, but that wasn’t a World Cup quarter-final.

Before, during or after today’s matches, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.