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France national football team
Friendlies 1
Mar 23, 2024 at 8pm UK
Parc Olympique Lyonnais
Germany national football team

France
0 - 2
Germany


Mbappe (68'), Rabiot (73')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Wirtz (1'), Havertz (49')
Nagelsmann (60'), Andrich (68')

Preview: France vs. Germany - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's friendly clash between France and Germany, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Hosting the only team to get one over them throughout 2023, France welcome Germany to the Groupama Stadium on Saturday for an international friendly of titanic proportions.

Die Mannschaft bested their Bleus foes 2-1 seven months ago, and this weekend's fixture represents both teams' first match of the year as Euro 2024 preparations heat up.


Match preview

France coach Didier Deschamps on November 18, 2023© Reuters

In the wake of World Cup 2022 heartbreak and a forgettable campaign in the Nations League, where they survived relegation to the second tier by the skin of their teeth, France came through their Euro 2024 qualifying group with only one miniscule blot on the notebook.

Seven matches brought seven wins for Didier Deschamps's men, who did the double over the Netherlands and also put a staggering 14 past Gibraltar without reply for the biggest win in their history, before dropping their only points in the section in a 2-2 draw with Greece.

First place in the group had already been long rubber-stamped, though, and Les Bleus will coincidentally reunite with qualifying foes Netherlands and 2022-23 Nations League opponents Austria in the group stage, alongside one of four playoffs hopefuls in Wales, Finland, Poland or Estonia.

March's friendlies with Germany and Chile - who visit the Orange Velodrome in Marseille three days after Germany's sojourn - represent France's final two chances to impress the manager ahead of Euro 2024, where Les Bleus will bid to end a barren 24-year sequence without lifting the coveted continental crown.

Another route to European stardom could come via the Nations League for France, who have been drawn together with Israel, Belgium and Italy in League A Group 2 - to begin later this autumn - and Deschamps's men are on a run of five successive home friendly wins ahead of Germany's highly-anticipated visit.

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann on November 18, 2023© Reuters

While witnessing all of their continental counterparts fight for the right to visit their beloved homeland at Euro 2024, Germany have been devoid of competitive action since exiting the World Cup with a whimper for the second time in a row in 2022, engaging solely in friendly battles during a tumultuous 2023.

Only three of those 11 exhibition contests saw Die Mannschaft come up trumps, one of which came under the temporary tutelage of Rudi Voller against France in September, just three days after a humiliating 4-1 home loss to Japan saw the Germany hierarchy pull the trigger on Hansi Flick.

Up stepped Julian Nagelsmann, whose shock sacking from Bayern Munich last spring was unjust in the eyes of many, but since opening his Mannschaft account with a 3-1 beating of the USA, the 36-year-old has overseen a 2-2 draw with Mexico and successive losses to Turkey and Austria.

A far cry from the side that won eight straight games immediately after Euro 2020, Germany have only achieved six victories from their subsequent 22 fixtures and are doing little to inspire national belief ahead of a home Euros, where Hungary, Switzerland and Scotland will fancy their chances of memorable scalps in Group A.

However, Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane's efforts saw the Germans end a six-game winless run against France with a 2-1 success back in September, and the former was also on target when Die Mannschaft last overcame Les Bleus on French soil in 2013, when the winner arrived from Sami Khedira.

France friendly form:
  • L
  • W


France form (all competitions):


Germany friendly form


Team News

Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring their first goal on March 13, 2024© Reuters

Only one player originally called up to the France ranks has been forced to pull out through injury so far, although the withdrawal is a significant one, as Atletico Madrid attacker and Bleus mainstay Antoine Griezmann has succumbed to an ankle injury.

As a result, the 33-year-old's incredible streak of 84 consecutive appearances for France will come to an end this month, but aside from Griezmann and knee victim Kingsley Coman, Deschamps is working with a recognisable, star-studded selection of experienced players.

Aston Villa's Moussa Diaby has earned himself a recall to the Bleus squad for the first time in 12 months, while injury-plagued Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate is also back in the ranks but will likely be kept in reserve owing to his recent hamstring problem.

Meanwhile, two Bayern Munich-based players have already had to leave the Germany camp in the shape of uncapped midfielder Aleksandar Pavlovic and experienced goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who is now a doubt for his side's Champions League quarter-final with Arsenal due to an adductor injury.

With Neuer sidelined, the second-most capped player in the German ranks behind Muller is Real Madrid's Toni Kroos, back in the national team setup for the first time since Euro 2020 and now in line to win his 107th cap for Die Mannschaft.

However, a surfeit of revered names have been cut from the ranks since November's loss to Austria, including Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Sane, Mats Hummels, Niklas Sule and Kevin Trapp, while Timo Werner has also been overlooked despite a promising start to life on loan at Tottenham Hotspur.


France possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Clauss, Pavard, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Rabiot, Tchouameni, Camavinga; Dembele, Thuram, Mbappe

Germany possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Kimmich, Tah, Rudiger, Mittelstadt; Kroos, Andrich, Gundogan; Musiala, Wirtz; Havertz


SM words green background

We say: France 3-1 Germany

With several veterans expelled from the Germany ranks and Nagelsmann still tinkering with his preferred setup, Die Mannschaft could have rather the experimental feel about them this week, which should not be a recipe for success against a settled France.

Even without the Griezmann glue holding them together, Deschamps's side ought to make the most of Germany's current predicament and lay down a serious marker ahead of Euro 2024.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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Game History

How you voted: France vs Germany

France
65.4%
Draw
15.6%
Germany
19.0%
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Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos on October 7, 2023
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