France vs Germany Preview: Recent Form, Classic Encounter, Team News, Key Battle & More

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The two most recent world champions go into Tuesday’s clash looking to bounce back from disappointing results; France salvaged a late 2-2 draw in their friendly with Iceland, whilst Germany were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Netherlands in the Nations League. 

Les Bleus top Group A with four points from the opening two games, whilst Germany prop up the group with a solitary point from their first two fixtures – which came in the reverse fixture between the sides that ended 0-0. 

Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday’s game: 

Recent Form

France haven’t exactly replicated the form that saw them lift the World Cup in July. A 2-1 win against the Netherlands in what was essentially a World Cup celebration party was followed up by two consecutive draws against Germany and Iceland.

Germany haven’t fared much better since a dismal World Cup campaign. A 2-1 friendly win against Peru was followed by the 0-0 draw with France, and the comprehensive 3-0 beating handed to them by the Dutch on Saturday. 

Classic Encounter

A recent match springs to mind when thinking of classic encounters between these European powerhouses. The two met in the semi finals of Euro 2016, and Les Blues managed to come out on top in front of their home support. 

In stark contrast to the most recent major tournament, the referee gave France a penalty late in the first half without the use of VAR, after Patrice Evra headed the ball against Bastian Schweinsteiger’s hand. Antoine Griezmann was on hand to convert the spot kick, pulling out his Drake celebration the aftermath…as Fortnite hadn’t been invented yet. 

The win was sealed with 20 minutes to go, as Pogba robbed the ball off Joshua Kimmich in the Germany box. Manuel Neuer could only punch his subsequent cross straight into the path of Griezmann, who was on hand to grab his second goal of the game.

Key Battle

Kylian Mbappe vs. Jonas Hector

The Koln left back has a job on his hands on Tuesday night, as he will have to quell the threat of one of the most in form players in world football right now. Ballon d’Or nominee Mbappe already has eight goals to his name this season, and scored the equalising penalty in the draw with Iceland. 

Mbappe’s speed and directness pose a threat for any full back, so Hector will have to be on top form if he hopes to keep him quiet

Team News 

France rested a number of key players in their draw with Iceland. Mbappe, Blaise Matuidi, N’Golo Kante and Lucas Hernandez all started on the bench, so expect to see them all recalled to the starting XI. 

In the absence of Samuel Umtiti, it will be interesting to see who gets the nod to partner Raphael Varane at centre back – PSG’s Presnel Kimpembe started the Iceland game, but Kurt Zouma and Mamadou Sakho are also options in Deschamps’ squad. 

Joachim Low may be looking to make changes to his side following their defeat on Saturday night. Leroy Sane has been recalled to the squad following his World Cup omission, and despite questions being raised about his attitude, could offer something different to the starting XI than Mark Uth. 

Joshua Kimmich may continue in midfield despite him spending much of his Germany career playing at right back, and the likes of Julian Brandt and Julian Draxler are on hand to offer Germany a more creative threat from wide areas. 

Potential Lineups 

France: Lloris (c); Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernandez; Kante, Pogba; Mbappe, Griezmann, Matuidi; Giroud 

Germany: Neuer (c); Ginter, Hummels, Boateng, Hector; Kimmich, Kroos; Brandt, Muller, Sane; Werner 


Didier Deschamps pragmatic approach in big games has done wonders for France, as evidenced by their final appearance at Euro 2016, and their World Cup triumph in Russia. This makes it hard to see them being beaten by a Germany team seemingly bereft of confidence and looking to move back in the right direction. 

Prediction: France 3-1 Germany

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