Germany are gunning to win the European Championship just two years after winning the FIFA World Cup but will have to navigate through hosts France to reach the finals of the Euro 2016.
The Les Bleus are still bitter at the fact that the German machine denied them the opportunity of reaching the World Cup final when they defeated them in the quarter-final of the 2014 World Cup courtesy a towering header by Mats Hummels.
Coincidentally, the new Bayern Munich defender will not be part of the encounter later this evening as he is suspended following two yellow cards picked in the run up to the final but the Germans are still expected to pick a very strong line-up.
History between both sides
The last time France beat Germany in a competitive match was in the 1958 World Cup when the Les Bleus won by a massive 6-3 but surprisingly the 1998 World Champions have edged the head-to-head records as they have picked up 12 wins, five draws, and ten defeats.
However, most of the French victories have come in friendly matches and only in November2015 by defeated Germany 2-0 in an international friendly. The Euro 2016 hosts will want to re-write history and stop whatever hoodoo is stopping them from beating Germany in a major competition.
Like earlier pointed out, Germany will be without Mats Hummels due to suspension while Mario Gomez, Sami Khedira have had their tournament ended by injury.
German manager Joachim Low confirmed that Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will captain the side against France after recovering from a knee injury.
For France, Arsenal duo of Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny were taken off in the 5-2 quarter-final win against Iceland to ensure they did not pick up suspensions and are likely to start.
Les Bleus manager, Didier Deschamps will welcome back the duo of Adil Rami and N’Golo Kante who were suspended for the quarter-finals.
Joachim Low (Germany)
“France offensively are the team in the tournament that are very flexible, not only in midfield with Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi but they also take their chances most efficiently with [Dimitri] Payet, [Antoine] Griezmann and [Olivier] Giroud.
“I think France will attack as they have the pressure of playing as hosts. They are in their own country and will try everything. We have to play as a unit and we have to help each other. We have to be compact in defence. If we give them lots of space they can be quick and dynamic. They will make it difficult for us.
“But they have weaknesses, no side is perfect. Their last game against Iceland was impressive but we have noticed a couple of weaknesses. It will be important to exploit them.”
Didier Deschamps (France)
“No-one can change history but there are some new chapters to be written and the players can write them. This page is currently blank and they need to fill it. What has happened before is not important. What happens now is important.
“I believe the players have belief in themselves. We know the opposition, they are still the best side in the world but we are going to go out with everything.
“We’ve always had this confidence, this desire to get to where we are today. It’s not been a linear process but the players have done everything to get into the semi-final against Germany.”
Germany probable line-up: Neuer, Kimmich, Boateng, Howedes, Hector, Can, Kroos, Draxler, Ozil, Gotze, Muller.
France probable line-up: Lloris, Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra, Matuidi, Kante, Pogba, Griezmann, Giroud, Payet .
Prediction: Germany 1-0 France (AET).