World Cup pre-game: Germany vs. France
Both teams struggled in Round of 16 matches
Germany vs. France
- 12 p.m. ET, Friday, July 4,
- CBC TV, cbc.ca/fifaworldcup
What’s at stake
Both are coming off challenging Round of 16 matches. Which team will return to its best form in this crucial match?
The winner here plays the winner of Brazil-Colombia in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday July 8th at 4 p.m.
Germany’s right-back Shkodran Mustafi is out of the World Cup after tearing a thigh muscle in the game against Algeria. Defender Mats Hummels may be back in form after suffering from the flu. However, upwards of seven of his teammates are also now dealing with flu, though manager Joachim Low said he hoped the situation would ease.
The head-to-head record is very close. They’ve played each other 25 times, with France winning 11, Germany winning eight, and six draws. Total goals scored is almost identical — 42-41 in Germany's favour.
Germany. Andre Schurrle. The first goal by this super-sub in Brazil came at precisely the right time. And his back-heel touch was an instant highlight reel classic.
France. Paul Pogba. Expectations have been growing on this young midfielder. And he delivered against Nigeria with a late header that brought the Super Eagles back to Earth.
What to watch for
Rio will be hot, hot, hot. The managers have big personnel decisions to make to keep up the energy all game.
Germany’s defensive line played very high against Algeria, letting the Desert Foxes to slip past several times. And Manuel Neuer often ran well out of his box to meet attackers. Will Low run these risks against an equally fast-paced France?
Subs made a big difference for France against Nigeria. Manager Didier Deschamps subbed Antoine Greizmann for Olivier Giroud at 62 minutes, a strategy that also payed off for the French. Who will he start?
They said it
"There was tension out there. They are a very strong side and there were a lot of duels. But we're through." — Didier Deschamps speaking to Sky News.
“You need to catch your breath after a game like that, and at the end it was sheer force of will that got us the win.” —Joachim Low speaking to FIFA.com.
The big number
24 — The number of touches by Germany’s “sweeper keeper” Manuel Neuer in the first half against Algeria. He gave German fans heart failure during a few of his walkabouts. But was rock solid.
Obligatory fun fact
The Algerian goal scored by Abdelmoumene Djabou at the 120:50 mark against Germany was the latest goal in World Cup history.