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France vs Germany - Team News, Match Preview & Likely Line-Ups

Date: Friday, July 4 | Venue: Maracana Stadium, Rio | Kick-Off: 17:00 BST

Christophe Ena/AP/Press Association ImagesChristophe Ena/AP/Press Association ImagesFrance coach Didier Deschamps may opt for Antoine Griezmann ahead of Oliver Giroud, meaning Karim Benzema would play as a central striker. Defender Mamadou Sakho has recovered from the thigh injury that kept him out of his country's 1-0 win over Nigeria in the last round. Germany will be without Shkodran Mustafi for the remainder of their World Cup campaign due to a thigh injury. Manager Joachim Low has also revealed seven members of his squad are suffering with flu-type symptoms, though none are expected to miss the game. (BBC)

Key Stats

This is the 26th meeting between the sides. France have won 11 times, Germany eight and there have been six draws. France have not conceded a first-half goal in any of their last 12 games. Germany are contesting a quarter-final for the ninth straight World Cup. Germany won the most recent meeting between the two sides 2-1 in February 2013.

Likely Line-Ups

France Lloris: Debuchy, Varane, Sakho, Evra; Pogba, Cabaye, Matuidi; Valbuena, Benzema, Grizmann. Germany Neuer: Lahm, Mertesacker, Hummels, Howedes; Kroos, Khedira, Schweinsteiger; Ozil, Muller, Gotze.

Match Preview

France vs Germany is a game that rarely disappoints as the two European giants come head to head for the 26th time in the World Cup quarter finals tonight. There have been 17 goals scored in the two nation's previous three encounters with an average of 5.7 goals per-game - this goal-crazy tournament shows no signs of letting up. The Germans found the back of the net four times in their opening group game against Portugal but since then Joachim Low's men have somewhat laboured, struggling against Ghana and Algeria. Germany were particularly unimpressive against the latter and had to huff and puff to get this far. The French too were forced to dig in deep to reach the quarter final stage after seeing off Nigeria 1-0 in a tight affair, but have shown flashes of brilliance - particularly in the 5-2 win over Switzerland. This game could be disrupted by an outbreak of flu in the Germany camp which is threatening to sideline up to seven players, but hopefully everyone is passed fit and we get an entertaining spectacle. Prediction: 1-2
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Joseph is an accredited football journalist and has interviewed nearly all of the current 20 Barclay's Premier League managers. He is also a correspondent for Bleacher Report and has written for Caught Offside and Give Me Football.