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Germany is going to play France in Bremen tonight. The Germans are the big favorite and a win of the Frenchmen would be kind of a sensation. While “Die Mannschaft” have only lost 1 of their last 20 international games, their opponents haven’t lost since 17 games. The Germans only tied 2 of their last 10 games while “Les Bleus” tied half of their games in the same lapse of time. Those stats are even more stunning if you consider the teams each team has faced. While Germany has won against very strong teams such as Brazil and the Netherlands, France couldn’t even win against Belgium (0-0). Jogi Löw’s team won 3-1 against the same team…
As you can see, the French team isn’t the strongest one. Laurent Blanc has been heavily criticized recently and most of the French media do agree with the idea of giving leave to Laurent Blanc after the EURO 2012 or even to sack him before the European championships. His team really isn’t playing the most beautiful football. They are rather focussed on keeping a clean sheet and not scoring much goals than on playing forward and be too vulnerable in the defense. But since the French people are used to beautiful football from their league and also from their national team when Zinedine “Zizou” Zidane was still playing.
Unlike “Les Bleus”, the Germans are being hyped over the whole planet for their beautiful and very effective game. Their offensive plays are world class and even though they don’t have the best defenders in the world in the back, they have one of the best defenses in the world thanks to their team spirit. Jogi Löw is recognized worldwide as one of the best managers at the moment and the chorus of praise for him doesn’t seem to stop soon. The fans are very demanding as well. They quickly start to boo at their own players if they feel as if they wouldn’t play good enough. The criticisms have already been pretty harsh after ties. Not to imagine how the media would react after a lost after so many successful and quite beautiful matches…
Both football federations have been focussing a lot on their youth academies in the past 10 years. Since the FFF started even earlier with that, they exemplified for the Germans who are reaping the fruits of their labour at the moment. Almost their whole squad is on a very high level. The French one is on a high level too but I doubt they can be compared to “Die Mannschaft”. Their youth academies can easily compare to the German ones but their league can’t compare to the Bundesliga… The average age of “Les Bleus” is 27.6 years while the German one is 25.3. Laurent Blanc has called up 23 players, 9 of them are legionaries. 17 of the 20 players who have been nominated by Jogi Löw are playing for German clubs what does show that the Ligue 1 is a weaker league than the Bundesliga.
The most important facts and stats being shared, I want to present you a head-to-head comparison of every player of the expected starting line-ups:
Tim Wiese vs Hugo Lloris:
Even though it might be surprising some fans, Jogi Löw already confirmed some days ago that Tim Wiese would start. The reasons haven’t been told us but there are two possibilities: Either Löw wants to offer Wiese a beautiful last game for the German national team or just offer the unhappy goalkeeper from Werder Bremen some play time for his country. It’s rumored that Löw wanted to rejuvenate the position of the second goalkeeper as well after he had already done that with the third one. (Ron-Robert Zieler from Hannover 96 has been called up once) On the French side Hugo Lloris has just been named captain of the French team and the Lyonnais is said to be one of the best goal keepers in the world. His self-confidence must be very high while Tim Wiese might be a bit confused by all those speculations about him… 0-1 for France
Dennis Aogo vs Eric Abidal:
The French defender from Barca isn’t playing for nothing for the Catalonians. He is still pretty fast for his age (32) and can also be precious in the offense. 1 goal and 3 assists in the current season could be better but those stats aren’t bad after all if you consider how offensively-minded Barca is playing. He is also physically very strong while his German pendant from Hamburg is skinnier but faster. Aogo is often too offensively-minded though, so he can quickly become to a weakness for his team and I think he’s a bit overrated. 0-2 for France
Holger Badstuber vs Philippe Mexès:
The 22-year-young defender from the German record champion is undoubtedly the best German defender in this season. His stats are almost world class, he has improved his speed and become more dangerous in the opponents’ half over the past games but he’s been lacking luck. He is physically very strong and tackles aggressively but fair. He is a wall while Philippe Mexès isn’t even always starting for his current club, AC Milan. Furthermore he is pretty old (32) and his speed leaves quite a lot to be desired. He is very ball-winning but can also become the major weakness of his defense at any moment. 1-2 for France
Mats Hummels vs Adil Rami:
Adil Rami from FC Valencia is a tank. Not many other defenders in the Primera Division are as physically strong as the 26-year-young former French champion (in 2011 with Lille OSC). He is very fast and his tackles are often crucial. He can have an impact in the opponent’s box as well thanks to his tall and strong body. Mats Hummels is pretty similar to Rami. The 22-year-younger from Borussia Dortmund is younger, so less experienced than the Frenchman, but he is slightly better in the build-up play. 2-3 for France
Jerome Boateng vs Mathieu Debuchy:
Jerome Boateng is considered as one of the best German defenders but he is actually a central back. He’s always playing on that position for his club but mainly plays as right full-back for Jogi Löw’s team. He is very fast and ball-winning but Mathieu Debuchy is a natural right full-back. The 26-year-old defender from the current French champion Lille OSC is very fast and also strong as offensive right full-back: 5 goals and 1 assist are pretty strong for a player from that position: 2-4 for France
Sami Khedira vs Yann M’Vila:
Yann M’Vila, who is playing for the French club Stade Rennes, is one of the greatest French talents of the past years. His market value is already 20 million euros high – that’s a lot for a defensive midfielder who is 21 years young. M’Vila is very good in his build-up play but stronger in the defense. His physique is one of his major strength and his ball-winning accuracies are excellent. Since he is a very clever player he can make many crucial interceptions. Even though I think that Sami Khedira is overrated, I don’t think that his value for “Die Mannschaft” should be underestimated. He might be one of the worst defensive midfielders in the build-up play but Jogi Löw has made him to an important part of his team even though Sven Bender (injured at the moment) will surely replace him at the EURO. Furthermore Sami Khedira is much more experienced. M’Vila hasn’t played a world cup or even in the Champions League yet. 3-5 for France
Toni Kroos vs Yohan Cabaye:
Even though Toni Kroos has played awful matches in the defensive midfield for Bayern Munich, he has shown some amazing performances on the same position under Jogi Löw and Hansi Flick. He is playing the best season of his still young career and offensively very precious for his teams. His passes are often simple but very useful and he can also play beautiful and crucial ones. Yohan Cabaye, who is playing at Newcastle United and also a former French champion with Lille, is rather a more defensively-minded midfielder than Kroos. His build-up play is good but by far not the best. He can win the ball very well but can’t really compare to Kroos even though he is faster than the Bavarian. 4-5 for France
Andre Schürrle vs Franck Ribéry:
This must be obvious. Franck Ribéry is the best left winger of the Bundesliga and has already scored 13 times and given 12 assists in the current season while Andre Schürrle from Bayer Leverkusen has only scored 4 goals and given 6 crucial passes. Schürrle might be a bit faster than the Frenchman but the player from Bayern Munich is much more experienced and probably the best player on his position at the moment. He has recently scored twice against Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga and even though he hasn’t been the same for “Les Bleus” in the last 3 years (no goal at all in that lapse of time), Laurent Blanc has said that the 1.69m tall winger was one of his most important players. 4-6 for France
Mesut Özil vs Samir Nasri:
Mesut Özil is playing fro Real Madrid, Samir Nasri for Manchester City. Both can score and give assists whenever they want but I actually think that Mesut Özil is a better player because he’s been playing a better season in Spain than Nasri in England. 5-6 for France
Marco Reus vs Mathieu Valbuena:
Marco Reus and Mathieu Valbuena are both pretty similar players. They’re very fast and have been crucial for their teams in the current season. Valbuena is more experienced than Reus but not quite as fast as the player from Mönchengladbach. Furthermore the Frenchman from Marseille isn’t always running a lot when he doesn’t feel like doing so. Marco Reus, future Dortmunder, has been the second best winger of the Bundesliga in the current season and that does say a lot about him. 6-6
Miroslav Klose vs Olivier Giroud:
Olivier Giroud is the best striker of the French league and it’s rumored that Bayern Munich was interested in him. The Bavarians’ former striker is currently playing at Lazio Rom and the tifosi already love him because of many goals and a lot of work for the team. Furthermore Klose is always playing very well for “Die Mannschaft” while the forward from Montpellier is playing for the first time and might be a bit nervous. 7-6 for Germany
Even though I will be supporting Franck Ribéry and his team mates tonight, I don’t think that they can win against Germany who are among the three best teams of the world. I am actually afraid that “Les Bleus” could be shown up tonight if they don’t concentrate well on Germany’s amazing and beautiful play and tactics. A 1-2 defeat would already be a remarkable result for them…
Thank you so much for reading this! I really hope you enjoyed it and enjoy the game!
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