UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Semi-final preview: Germany v France

Germany coach Joachim Löw has cause to be wary of France's exciting forwards, while Didier Deschamps has vowed the hosts will "give all we have" against "the best side in the world".

France do the Iceland clap
France do the Iceland clap
  • Germany take on hosts France in Marseille for a spot in the final
  • The winners will play Portugal at the Stade de France on Sunday
  • Germany defeated Les Bleus 1-0 in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals
  • They also got the better of France in the semi-finals of the 1982 and 1986 World Cups
  • The hosts have not beaten Germany at a major tournament since 1958

Possible line-ups

Germany: Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Höwedes, Hector; Kroos, Schweinsteiger; Draxler, Özil, Götze; Müller.
Out: Hummels (suspended), Gomez (thigh), Khedira (groin)
Doubtful: none

  • Benedikt Höwedes is set to deputise for the suspended Mats Hummels at centre-half, with Joshua Kimmich filling in at right-back. Bastian Schweinsteiger's fitness is a big boost; Thomas Müller should lead the line.

France: Lloris; Sagna, Umtiti, Koscielny, Evra; Pogba, Matuidi; Sissoko, Griezmann, Payet; Giroud.
Out: none
Doubtful: none

  • Didier Deschamps could restore Adil Rami in central defence after a ban. A reversion to 4-3-3 and recall for N'Golo Kanté cannot be discounted should Deschamps decide 4-2-3-1 is overly attacking.

Coach quotes
Joachim Löw, Germany coach
In attack, France have been very flexible, which creates a lot of pressure – not just in the penalty area but also in midfield with [Paul] Pogba and [Blaise] Matuidi. They take their chances and they have three strikers at the top of the goal rankings. They'll attack very aggressively; they're the hosts and their attack has been very good – it's been their strength so far.

Watch classic EURO semi-finals featuring Germany and France
Watch classic EURO semi-finals featuring Germany and France

We have to play as a unit and help each other; we must be compact in defence. If we give them space they'll be very quick and very dynamic, and that would make it very difficult for us.

Schweinsteiger trained this morning at 100%. He's very important for us in a game like this – mainly because of his experience. He will be in the starting XI; I said from the beginning that if he could take part in the last training session, he would play. We have to replace Hummels, Khedira and Gomez and that's not easy, so Schweinsteiger's experience is even more important.

We have to compensate for the players who can't play. I trust their replacements 100% and I hope it won't disturb our style of play. We'll be the strongest opposition France have had so far and we'll give our all to reach the final.

The match will be similar to 2014; France are at a very high level. There'll be more chances in this match than there were in Germany-Italy. Every side has weaknesses, no one is perfect. Their last match against Iceland was impressive, but we saw a couple of weaknesses and it'll be important to exploit them.

I don't think we're favourites – we're not playing a team, we're playing a whole country. After beating Iceland, they're very confident. There's a real momentum after beating Iceland, but being favourites doesn't count for anything. It's who performs better, who creates more chances and who takes those chances.

Didier Deschamps, France coach
Germany are always used to dominating the opposition, hogging the ball, but we can't think about simply defending and trying to catch them out. We just have to play to the best of our ability. Germany are the world champions and they've given the best impression here over the first five matches.

We have to score goals, but it's not only Manuel Neuer we have to beat, even if he's an excellent goalkeeper. They don't concede goals even though they attack a lot, which just goes to show all the quality in Germany's side. They have an excellent defensive shape – we saw that against Italy. When they lost the ball they chased and harried to win it back, and that allowed them to control the match.

No one can change history, but there are new chapters to be written. This page is blank and it's up to the players to fill it. The players must have belief in themselves and we need the crowd to get behind them too. We're playing the best side in the world but we're going to give it all we have.

We can't compete with Germany in terms of caps or trophies, but we're here because we have qualities. We have the ability to create opportunities and score goals. We can create danger for the opposition, and that's very exciting to me.

We'll have the crowd right behind us and we'll need that – there's going to be some tough times during the match. We're supported all over the country, but it's a bit more expressive here!

I have faith in these players. We haven't done everything brilliantly so far but we've knocked out five teams. Now it's another story altogether. We're playing Germany, the best side in the competition, and if we put in a big performance against them it will create a real buzz.

Pogba looks ahead to Germany showdown
Pogba looks ahead to Germany showdown

EURO2016.com team reporters
Steffen Potter, Germany (@UEFAcomSteffenP)
For the first time in this tournament, Germany aren't favourites for me. And yes, to me they were favourites against Italy, thanks to having better players, but not so here. I'm impressed by France and have been for the past two or three years.

Löw's line-up puzzle has become a bit easier with Bastian Schweinsteiger ready to start, though he won't be able to make up for the loss of Mats Hummels so easily. However, I'm excited to finally see a team challenge Germany when it comes to possession, so I expect an open game with lots of opportunities for both sides. It could be the best match of UEFA EURO 2016.

David Crossan, France (@UEFAcomDavidC)
France have definitely progressed since falling to Germany in the quarter-finals of the last FIFA World Cup, and will fancy their chances of scoring goals despite Manuel Neuer's formidable record this tournament.

Sticking with the 4-2-3-1 would be a positive move from Deschamps and the benefits of playing tournament top scorer Antoine Griezmann in his best position outweigh the drawback of not having a natural defensive midfielder. It will be exceptionally close, but the support of the Stade Vélodrome could just tip the balance in the hosts' favour.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)

Did you know?
These countries have met 27 times, Germany recording nine wins to France's 12. Yet their four games at final tournaments have harvested one win for France, a draw and two Germany victories, most recently a 1-0 success in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals. Read more in our extensive match background.

Follow the game on social media (#GERFRA)
UEFA EURO on Facebook
UEFA EURO on Instagram