Hosts France face Germany in the second semi-final clash of Euro 2016 at the at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on Thursday, with a place in the final at stake.
The winner of this encounter will face Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal, who qualified for the finals after a 2-0 win over Wales on Wednesday.
EURO 2016 RECAP
The last time the two teams met in the semi-finals of a major tournament, Germany humiliated France 7-1.
France come into the game with confidence flying high after a convincing 5-2 win over Iceland, though France have been dominant since the start of the competition.
But the Les Bleus face their biggest obstacle to a title winning campaign at home, as they face the world champions Germany.
Whereas, Germany have improved a lot since their first game in the tournament, and their attack has become much more dominant and reliable as the competition has progressed.
WHAT MANAGERS SAY?
Didier Deschamps (France)
“Look, Germany are Germany. They’re the reigning world champions and one of the best sides at the European Championship.
“They had a scare against Italy in the quarter-final but other than that, they’ve been in control of all the games they’ve played. But it won’t be a stroll in the park for them: we’ll go all out for it.
“We’re playing in France, our own country, and we’ll go all out for it. We have to remember anything is possible.”
Joachim Low (Germany)
“I am especially sorry for Mario [Gomez]. He put in some good performances at these Euros and has helped the team, not only with his goals.
“For us, it means we have to accept the new situation and find solutions, which we will do.
“The quality of the team is high and I have full trust in all the players – we’ll be ready on Thursday and we’re looking forward to the semi-finals.”
KEY OPTA STATS
The last time a French player scored against a German side in a major tournament final was in 1982 when Alain Giresse found the net in the World Cup final.
France have also failed to keep a clean sheet in the previous 4 meetings that the clubs have had at major finals.
The last time the two teams collided France beat Germany 2-0 in a friendly.
Germany last won the Euros 20 years back in 1996, this incidentally is also the longest they’ve gone without winning the European Championship.
Germany have only lost once in their last 18 major tournament matches, winning 14 and drawing 3.
Germany have also kept 4 clean sheets in 5 games at this edition of the Euro’s, the only goal being a penalty against Italy.
Didier Deschamps is not a worried man when it comes to injuries, as the Les Bleus have no reported injury concerns and can welcome back both Adil Rami and N’Golo Kante who were suspended for the impressive 5-2 defeat of Iceland.
Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny were take off against Iceland to ensure they did not pick up suspensions and are likely to start.
Probable line-up : Lloris, Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra, Matuidi, Kante, Pogba, Griezmann, Giroud, Payet.
Germany will be without striker Mario Gomez after the forward was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a hamstring injury and the World Champs will miss suspended defender Mats Hummels.
Coach Joachim Low has confirmed that Manchester United midfielder will captain the side against France after recovering from a knee injury.
Probable line-up : Neuer, Kimmich, Boateng, Howedes, Hector, Can, Kroos, Draxler, Ozil, Gotze, Muller.