France v Germany - Match Preview: United midfielder key to France victory

Karim Benzema France

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will be essential to France if they hope to overcome Germany in the World Cup quarter final clash.

To be played on Friday 4th July 2014 at 17:00. Venue: Estadio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro.

Odds: France 2/1, Draw 9/4, Germany 6/4

Preview & injury news

France reached the quarter finals with slightly more ease as they were one of only two teams in the last 16 that decided their fate in normal time. They beat a strong looking Nigeria side 2-0.

Germany had to wait till extra time before the won the game 2-1 when they came up against an excellent Algeria side. Germany could have actually been 3-0 down inside the first half and against a more clinical side, they could have been in big trouble.

Before the World Cup, on paper Germany would have looked outright winners, but France’s such good form has made this tie too close to call.

One thing for certain is that whatever the score, it will be a high class match with lots of talent on display.

Mamadou Sakho should be fit after recovering from knee problems, whilst Raphael Varane could be a doubt after spending the night in hospital with dehydration after the win over Nigeria.

Christoph Kramer has recovered from a light fever and Borussia Dortmund centre back Mats Hummels should be available after missing the Algeria game with flu.

Key stats

In 25 previous clashes France have won 11 to Germany’s eight, whilst Germany have scored 42 goals to France’s 41.

Miroslav Klose is still only one goal away from becoming the World Cup’s all time leading goal scorer. He is currently joint top with Ronaldo with 15.

Benzema has the opportunity to become eighth on France’s all time top goal scorers list, he currently has 24 goals in 69 caps.

5 players to watch

Karim Benzema - Only two goals behind the current World Cup leader, James Rodriguez (5). He has the same number of assists, 2, but it’s safe to assume he will need to score and progress through this round if he has any chance of winning the golden boot.

Thomas Müller - In an even better position that Benzema, being only one goal behind Rodriguez with the same number of assists again. Will be doing all he can to become the first ever player to win back to back golden boots.

Paul Pogba - Has played a blinding World Cup but only really excelled in the last two games, scoring in the most recent. He has the potential to be one of the best midfielders in the world and France will be dependant on him against the industrial Germans.

Toni Kroos - Has had eight shots so far without a goal and will want to correct that. We’ve seen how capable he is of scoring as he so aptly showed for Bayern Munich last season.

Olivier Giroud - When he’s on his day he can cause absolute havoc. France will hope the strong in the air Frenchman will be on point.

Last time they met

Germany 2-1 France - 2013, February

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