Germany vs. France Experts Pick, Predicted Lineup & Injury Report: World Cup 2014 Quarterfinals
By Lou Imperial | July 4, 2014 10:20 AM EST
Germany and France will try to settle the score, as two of Europe's most dominant football nation clash in what could be a pivotal quarterfinal showdown in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Germany's Mesut Ozil (L) is congratulated by teammate Per Mertesacker after scoring against Algeria in extra time during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre June 30, 2014.
What's at Stake?
*Germany will try to extend their streak to four semifinal World Cup semifinal appearances. The Die Mannschaft has been a constant figure in the semifinal round of the quadrennial football event since the 2002 Japan-Korea World Cup.
Of course, head coach Joachim Low and his boys are setting their sight on an even greater achievement, as a win over rival France will catapult the Germans two wins away from winning their fourth World Cup championships - their first since 1990.
*France, on the other hand, looks to erase the memories of their lackadaisical outing in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the painful penalty shootout loss to Italy in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Real Madrid's goal-scorer Karim Benzema has been excellent throughout the tournament, but the Les Blues' defensive line was even more outstanding, as goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and defenders Patrice Evra, Mathieu Debuchy and Bacary Sagna conceded only two goals so far since starting their World Cup final campaign.
French football legend and current head coach Didier Deschamps is aware they are facing a hard task against the slightly favorite Germans, though many expect the tactician to pull off something from his bag of tricks on game time.
Germany: A health scare put the entire nation on panic, with seven players from their football teams diagnosed with flu symptoms. Christoph Kramer and Matts Hummels reportedly recovered from the flu and are expected to suit up for France on Friday. Lukas Podolski's thigh problem is already fixed as well.
France: Defender Raphael Varane was reportedly confined for one night after getting dehydrated in their hard-earned round-of-16 win over Nigeria 2-1. Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho is now healthy to play after dealing with knee issue.
Predicted Lineup for Quarterfinal Match
France (Possible, 4-2-1-3): Lloris; Debuchy, Varane, Sakho, Evra; Matuidi, Cabaye; Pogba; Valbuena, Benzema, Griezman.
Germany (Possible, 4-3-3): Neuer; Hummels, Boateng, Mertesacker, Howedes; Schweinsteiger, Lahm, Kroos; Özil, Müller, Götze.
Many experts are convinced the first quarterfinal match of the 2014 World Cup could shape the tournament moving forward. After all, Germany and France are among the favorites to win the title. Moreover, a victory at Estadio de Maracana would give a team a chance to face the winner of the other quarter battle between host nation Brazil and the up-and-coming Colombia in the semis.
Telegraph football writer John Ley predicted a close match with France edging Germany in extra-time, while Bleacher Report chief writer Mick Pickett picked the Germans to take a nail-biting 2-1 win over the Frenchmen.
For more Germany vs. France update, read more at IBT Sports
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