Germany (FIFA Rank 4) v France (17)
Germany are the defending World Cup Champions and the last time they played the home team in a major tournament semi-final it resulted in one of the most stunning results in World Cup history with Germany 7-1 Brazil. But unlike that rout of a Neymar less Brazil, it is Germany that come into this contest carrying injuries and suspensions. Mats Hummels is suspended because of yellow card accumulation. Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez are out with injuries and manager Jogi Low just confirmed that Bastian Schweinsteiger is fit and will start. But there are questions if he is 100%.
France have an excellent history as the home team in major competitions. The last home team to win the Euro's: France in 1984. France's only World Cup victory came in 1998 as the home nation in the newly built Stade de France, also where this year's final is being held.
Each team took very different paths to get to this semi-final. Germany had to run the gauntlet of a who's who in UEFA while France was handed the much easier path. Germany won their group with wins over Ukraine and Northern Ireland sandwiched around a draw with Poland then drew Slovakia in the Round of 16 and survived a 9 round penalty kick shootout (bizarrely it was tied 2-2 after the first 5 shooters) with Italy in the quarterfinals to make it here. France won their group with wins over Romania and Albania followed by a 0-0 draw with Switzerland then beat Republic of Ireland 2-1 in the round of 16 followed by stepping on and shattering Cinderella's shoe when they beat Iceland 5-2 in the quarterfinals.
How to Watch:
Germany v France
Wednesday, 12 Noon
Location: Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France
Streaming: Watch ESPN
- If tied after extra time, there will be 30 minutes of extra time followed by penalties if needed.
- The winner of this match will play Portugal at Stade de France in Paris for the European Championship on Sunday at Noon.
- Because the European Championship has already added an extra round of games when they went to a 24 team tournament, they have decided against having a third place match.
- If Germany wins this match, Portugal qualifies for the Confederations Cup next summer in Russia. If France wins then the winner of the Euro's goes to Russia as Germany has already qualified by virtue of being the World Cup title holders.
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