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The odds for Germany vs France are taken from FanDuel Sportsbook
he Nationalelf know what it takes to win this tournament and they should get the job done here, one way or another.
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Perhaps more than any other national team, Germany love to prove people wrong. There is a cliche within the men’s game that the Mannschaft should never be written off. Even at one of their lowest ebbs at the start of this millennium, Germany still managed to reach the World Cup final in 2002. Everyone who follows international soccer knows that the Germans do not need to be the best team to win.
Perhaps the same applies in the women’s game. To be clear, Germany have often been the strongest side, especially in Europe. A record of eight European Championship triumphs attests to that. But few people were predicting another German success at the start of this month. Spain, England, France, the Netherlands and Sweden all drew more attention than the Nationalelf.
Perhaps that was inevitable. All of those teams have a freshness about them that Germany, as seasoned winners and the traditional power, lack. But the last few weeks have shown that Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s women were too easily overlooked. They breezed through a tricky Group B, beating Spain, Denmark and Finland without so much as conceding a goal. A quarter-final clash with Austria was negotiated with customary professionalism.
Granted, it did take Germany until the second minute of second-half stoppage time to score the victory-sealing goal through Alexandra Popp. And Austria’s defensive organization frustrated them at times. But there was never really any doubt that Germany would go through to the last four. They do not intend for their journey to end there.
France began their campaign with a bang, blitzing Italy 5-1 with all five goals coming in the opening 45 minutes. That match showcased the attacking talent that the Bleues hope will carry them all the way to the trophy. They then overcame Belgium 2-1 to book their spot in the knockout stage with a game to spare, before sharing the spoils with Iceland in a 1-1 draw on matchday three.
Italy never recovered from the demolition they received by France, whose performance in that game will live long in the memory of all their supporters who witnessed it. Yet it is reasonable to suggest that Corinne Diacre will probably have been more heartened by her team’s 1-0 victory over the Netherlands in the quarter-final last time out. Eve Perisset was the matchwinner at the New York Stadium, the right-back converting a penalty in the 12th minute of extra time to send France through to the last four.
There have been doubts throughout this competition over France’s togetherness and team spirit, but they showed considerable resolve and fortitude to see off the Dutch, who won the previous edition of this competition five years ago and had designs on retaining the trophy.
France were the better team for the vast majority of the match, taking 25 shots to the Netherlands’ seven. Just shy of half their attempts found the target, but it seemed like the Dutch might succeed in frustrating les Bleues for 120 minutes and then taking the quarter-final to extra time. France held their nerve and eventually found a way to break their opponents’ resistance.
This is the type of match that is unlikely to be decided by much more than a one-goal margin. France and Germany are pretty evenly matched, and semi-final blowouts are not overly common (Germany’s 7-1 triumph over Brazil at the 2014 men’s World Cup is so well remembered as it was an exception to the norm). There will be plenty of attacking talent on display at Stadium MK on Wednesday, but that does not necessarily mean we will be treated to a goalfest.
Still, this should be an enthralling encounter between two excellent teams. The first goal could be crucial. If Germany were to score it, they would have France exactly where they want them. If les Bleues were to break the deadlock, their opponents would have to push up the pitch in search of an equalizer – and France have the tools to kill them off in transition.
On balance, we favor Germany. This is a team that has what it takes to win soccer matches in many different ways. They are content to cede possession and do not get impatient when they do not have the ball. France perhaps have more dazzling ability within their ranks, but in a knockout game that is not always the decisive factor.
With all that in mind, back Germany to beat France in the second semi-final of the Women’s Euro 2022 – but whether a ninth triumph at this competition awaits remains to be seen.
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|Teams||Germany vs France|
|Location||Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, England|
|Time||Wednesday, 27 July 2022, 3.00PM EST|
|How to watch||ESPN2, fuboTV|
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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