France v Germany - Key battles: Former United midfielder vital

Former Manchester United midfield Paul Pogba will be pivotal to his country's side against Germany as he comes up against Bastian Schweinsteiger

Paul Pogba v Bastian Schweinsteiger

After his brilliant game against Nigeria, Paul Pogba is officially up and running in this World Cup. Not to say that he wasn’t playing well before because he was, but this catalyst will help him reach the potential he is capable of. Goals, passing, tackling - Paul Pogba has it all.

Opposite him in midfield is an experienced German rock. Schweinsteiger has the ability to completely control the play around him, where he is so strong is across the breadth of the park as he is a true box-to-box player.

These two will be battling it out in a fiery affair and you just get the feeling that whomever has the most influence on the game, will be the one on the winning side. 

Thomas Muller v Mamadou Sakho

As it stands Muller is only one goal behind current leader James Rodriguez in the race for the golden boot. They both have two assists and now Muller will try everything he can to get that boot and become the first person to have ever won back to back top scorer awards.

Sakho has been part of a winning team but hasn’t looked all that entirely convincing. He can often make rash challenges and look rather clumsy when going in for a tackle.

Muller’s movement is so quick that Sakho may well struggle in this battle, and if he dives in rashly Germany could see themselves being rewarded with a penalty.

Karim Benzema v Per Mertesacker

The Real Madrid forward is having a superb World Cup so far, he himself is not far off the golden boot and also has two assists. He is creating lots of attacking opportunities and looks deadly every time he is on the ball.

The big Arsenal man has brought his club form with him to the World Cup, he looks good in tackles and as always is strong in the air.

These two are powerhouses of players and this will be a battle of physical strength. You may find that Benzema can just edge him on the pace and that is where he will get his advantage.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch