France vs Germany is one of the most anticipated matchups of the Euro 2020 group stage, and it could well be one of the games of the tournament.
Beaten 2016 finalists France, the favourites to go one better this time around, take on a Germany side still looking for direction after a dire World Cup, with Joachim Low ending his long spell as manager at the end of this tournament.
It would take a brave soul to write off the Germans, who in spite of their more recent troubles reached the final in 2008 and the semi-finals of both tournaments since, losing to France at Euro 2016. But Tuesday’s opponents, the current World Cup holders, present a nightmare opener for Low’s side on paper.
The pair faced one another twice in the inaugural Nations League tournament in 2018/19, with Germany earning a 0-0 draw on home soil, where they will face them on Tuesday at the Allianz Arena.
This will be the first time the two sides have ever met in the group stages of a major finals, with France clear favourites going into the match – a tag Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer does not buy into.
“It is very important to start with a successful result,” Neuer said. “We know we owe the fans something after the last tournament. We hope to excite them with the way we will play and we need their support.
“We know France have been successful in the past years. But we are still a very good team, uncomfortable to play against. We have respect for them but we don’t see ourselves as the underdogs. We want to win the game here in Munich.”
Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann are both fit for the game after they emerged from Les Bleus’ final friendly win over Bulgaria last Tuesday with injuries – a dead leg for Benzema and a calf issue for Griezmann.
Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka will miss the game as he continues to recover from a leg injury while Ilkay Gundogan and Toni Kroos played in the centre of midfield in the 7-1 friendly win over Latvia on 7 June.