Marseille, July 6: Hosts France and World Cup champions Germany will be rekindling their traditional rivalry on Thursday when they face off in the second semi-final of the European football championship at Stade Velodrome here.
Germany is preparing for the game with odds in its favour, however, the Mannschaft's impressive tactics have faded amid significant absences in the group, as well as concerns expressed by coach Joachim Loew himself after the quarter-finals tie against Italy, reports Efe.
Although Germany continued to develop throughout the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and reached its greatest brilliance against hosts Brazil during the unforgettable 7-1 victory in the semi-finals, they have failed to impress so far in the European Championship, despite their success reaching the penultimate round.
Loew has not created a convincing attack methodology so far, as he started by including Mario Gotze in a false 9 formation; however, things did not go that well for him, while Thomas Muller continued his disappointing non-threatening style and even missed a penalty against Italy.
The German coach has also a few concerns regarding defence, which appeared more cautious against Italy.
During France's clash, Germany will face the absence of Mats Hummels from central defence due to suspension, as well as Sami Khedira in midfield and Mario Gomez up front, amid the wait find out any developments regarding Bastian Schweinsteiger's knee injury.
In any case, Loew has to wait to find out if he can include Schweini to lead the midfield, and if he is unlucky, he will have to depend on Julian Weigl.
Furthermore, defender Benedikt Howedes is suffering from muscular exhaustion and Loew will be stuck with the option of picking a formation that depends on skills rather than chemistry and tactics.
France is euphoric after thrashing dark-horse Iceland 5-2 in the quarterfinals, and finally succeeding in winning the sympathy of the fans, which will put more pressure on the Germans.
All in all, France and Germany have faced each other on 27 occasions in which France won 12 times, Germany earned nine victories, while they drew in nine matches, however France has failed to defeat Germany in a championship game since the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, when France won 6-3.
French coach Didier Deschamps has finally recovered Adil Rami and N'Golo Kante, hoping that his Les Bleus group will be able to defeat the world champions.