Germany v France UEFA Nations League preview
The UEFA Nations League was always going to throw up some tasty clashes considering that the top twelve ranked nations were put into four groups of three.
The Netherlands seem to have drawn the short straw by virtue of the fact that they have to play Germany and France twice, although the latter teams will also take points off each other, starting with Thursday’s clash at the Allianz Arena.
Joachim Low has rarely been under the microscope since taking charge of Die Mannschaft and his stock was clearly very high after steering the team to a 2014 World Cup triumph although things were much different at the 2018 renewal.
It’s unthinkable to see a German team fail to emerge from a World Cup group although that’s what happened in Russia and the bookmakers look set to take them on ahead of Thursday’s clash against France.
Bet365 offer 2.50 about the home team winning at the Allianz Arena and perhaps that’s a big price about a side playing in a familiar stadium to many squad members, with the Bayern Munich players likely to flourish in front of many supporters of the club.
Low has called up a strong group of players and Leroy Sane is back in from the cold despite a lack of game minutes for Manchester City, with Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels among the old guard who remain within the team.
As for France, they arrive for this match feeling in a confident mood after conquering the world in Russia, with Didier Deschamps’ side having been fairly sturdy all the way through the tournament before beating Croatia in the final despite coming off second best.
Bet365 go 9/5 that Les Bleus continue their Russia heroics by winning in Munich, with Deschamps potentially choosing exactly the same team that won the World Cup in the summer.
The squad looks virtually identical to the one that was so successful and the future looks bright for a team whose brightest light has been teenager Kylian Mbappe, with Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante bedding into midfield like a pair of old shoes.
Defensively, the French side look stronger than their opposite numbers, with Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti having been robust at the back over the past few games, while Antoine Griezmann clearly benefits from having Olivier Giroud as the proverbial battering ram.
It would be no great surprise if this was a cagey encounter, with Germany looking to restore some national pride and the French likely to be pleased with a point before entertaining the Netherlands in Saint-Denis next week.