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France, Germany Clash Guarantees A European Side Will Reach World Cup Final Four

Posted by Stan Jenkins on 7/4/2014 8:49:31 AM

After watching the defending champion Spain, Italy, and England all get bounced out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in the group stage, France and Germany have guaranteed there will be a European team in the semi-finals with their meeting in the quarterfinals. Both teams are coming off less than convincing wins in the Round of 16, but have switched their focus to the task at hand and the opportunity to advance to the final four with one more victory. Germany is the favorite heading in to this game, but the French side is playing with something to prove, and both teams have weaknesses that can be exploited.

World Cup Quarterfinals

France vs. Germany

Friday July 4, 2014 - 12:00 PM ET

Estadio Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Germany’s back line was breached several times in a 2-1 win over Algeria in which there were many more chances for the underdog side than many would have predicted heading in to the match. France didn’t concede a goal against Nigeria in its Round of 16 match, but scored both of its goals in the final 11 minutes to advance with a 2-0 win.

World Cup Preview: France

Paul Pogba scored the crucial opening goal in the win over Nigeria before an own goal sealed the victory. Pogba, Raphael Varane, and Antoine Griezmann have been excellent in their first major international tournament, and it’s no surprise that they have brought a pace that may overlooked when evaluating France before this tournament got underway. Karim Benzema has finally lived up to his reputation on the international stage with a dynamic tournament, but his play will ultimately be judged by how he performs when their stakes are at their highest. France should have Mamdadou Sakho back from a hamstring injury, and they will need him against a dangerous German attack.

World Cup Preview: Germany

A 4-0 win over Portugal in its opener seemed like it would set the tone for Germany in this tournament, but the team has not won by more than one goal in any of its three games since, including a draw against Ghana and 2-1 win over Algeria. Thomas Mueller, Miroslav Klose, and Andre Schurrle represent Germany’s depth up front, but this lineup is strong throughout, with plenty of substitutes that can step in and play without a major drop off in talent level. Germany will need to do a better job of pushing the tempo up front and keeping the pressure off its back line, and this will be as good of a game as any to show the same pace and urgency up front that was on display versus Portugal.

World Cup Preview: Outlook & Pick

France impressed with a strong showing in the group stage, but the talent level of the teams it has faced hasn’t been exceptional, and they seemed to stall at times in the win over Nigeria. Germany has too many weapons up front for the French defense to contain, and their young stars will have a tough time adapting as Mueller and company put the pressure on their back line and really take this game to them.

World Cup Betting Pick: Germany to advance pk

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