Bengaluru, July 7: Germany take on hosts France in a crucial semi-final encounter in the Euro 2016. Both the teams look extremely strong on paper and thus fans can expect a mouth-watering clash tonight (July 8).
World Champions Germany have had decent run in the tournament so far. They topped their group picking up 7 points from the 3 matches.
In the round of 16 they took on Slovakia were the Germans displayed complete domination as they pumped in 3 goals to progress further.
The quarter-final witnessed the titanic clash between Germany and Italy. Mesut Ozil gave Germany the lead and as the match reached its business end, Italy's Bonucci equalised from the penalty box.
The match went into penalty shootout where Germany emerged victorious 6-5 to go through to the semi-final. Now they face France.
France on other hand had brilliant tournament so far. They too topped their group dominating all the teams except Switzerland.
In the knock-out stage they went passed Ireland and Iceland in the round of 16 and quarter-final respectively.
The match against Ireland though was nerve wreching as the Irish took the lead initially. But a spark of brilliance from Antoine Griezmann saw France scoring two goals to see them through.
The quarter-final was sheer domination from the Les Bleus who thumped a spirited Iceland side 5-2.
As France host Germany in this crucial encounter we take a look at the possible starting line-up of both the sides.
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris
The captain of this side, Hugo Lloris have had a decent outing so far in the tournament. The Tottenham custodian conceded 4 goals in 6 matches. Lloris' biggest test though will be against the mighty Germans tonight as they have a galaxy of stars upfront.
Defenders: Bacary Sagna; Adil Rami; Laurent Koscielny; Patrice Evra
Adil Rami missed the last encounter against Iceland owing to a double booking. But after serving a one match ban, the veteran defender is expected to make a comeback to the side alongside Arsenal man Laurent Koscielny.
Bacary Sagna will be continue to be France's first right-back. The Manchester City defender has played impressive football so far. His runs down the flanks and curling crossed often prove dangerous for the opponents, Former Manchester United and current Juventus left-back Patrice Evra too is expected to start.
Midfielders: N'golo Kante; Blaise Matuidi; Paul Pogba
Leicester City midfielder N'Golo Kante is expected to be back to the starting line-up after serving a one match suspension due to bookings. Blaise Matuidi and Paul Pogba will accompany Kante in the midfield. While Kante and Matuidi will track back and play the holding role, Pogba will go up and support the attacking players.
Attack: Antoine Griezmann; Olivier Giroud; Dimitri Payet
The trio of Griezmann, Giroud and Payet upfront has done wonders for Didier Deschamps so far in this tournament, thus the French manager would not make any change in this crucial encounter where they will need to impose the pressure on the Germans. Griezmann scored brace in the round of 16 match, while Giroud scored twice in the last game. Payet too had his name on the score sheer against Iceland.
Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer
Without a doubt Manuel Neuer will Joachim Loew's first choice custodian in this crucial semi-final against France. Neuer has been in sublime form in this tournament. The mighty German has conceded just once so far in this tournament that on penalty against Italy in the quarter-final match.
Defenders: Joshua Kimmich; Benedikt Howedes; Jerome Boateng, Jonas Hector
Germany's best center-back Mat Hummels will be missing the encounter owing to an injury he suufered against Italy. Benedikt Howedes is likely to replace the Bayern Munich defender. Joans Hector will continue toserve as left-back while, 21-year-old Joshua Kimmich will fielded as a right-back.
Midfielders: Bastian Schweinsteiger; Toni Kroos; Mesut Ozil; Julian Draxler; Thomas Muller
Germany manager Joachim Loew confirmed the news at pre -match press conference that Bastian Schweinsteiger is fully fit and would start tonight and lead the team against France. Sami Khedira, who is suffering from an injury, will not be able to make it. Toni Kroos will accompany Bastian in the central midfield.
Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Julian draxler would have to team up and go all guns blazing against the French stars in order to procure the goals.
Attack: Mario Gotze
Mario Gotze will be back into the starting lineup as Mario Gomez has been ruled out of this clash due to injury. Gotze till now have had an average tournament so far. Joachim Loew would want Gotze to match his own standars and go all attack.