Robin Bairner’s France v Germany preview: tension in French camp ahead of their Euro 2020 opener
Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering France throughout Euro 2020
France begin their Euro 2020 quest buoyed by back-to-back friendly wins over Wales and Bulgaria, both achieved by a 3-0 score line.
Didier Deschamps, though, will appreciate a far sterner task awaits against Germany, with Les Bleus’ backline set to be tested much more rigorously.
France used what is believed to be Deschamps’ strongest squad against Bulgaria, which saw them feature in a 4-3-3 formation spearheaded by Karim Benzema. The Real Madrid striker went off before the break with a dead leg, replaced by Olivier Giroud, who scored two late goals. The Chelsea man courted controversy in the aftermath when he seemed to aim a dig at Kylian Mbappe for not passing enough, and the word is there is tension in the camp as a result.
Although the focus will be on the returning Benzema and Ballon d’Or contender Mbappe, it is Antoine Griezmann who sets the tone for the offence and promises to be arguably France’s most important player. He also scored both goals as France came from behind to beat Germany 2-1 in their last meeting, back in October 2018.
As a draw would suit France in this encounter, it would be little surprise to see them play in a cagey style and seek to stretch their unbeaten record against the Germans to six matches. The last time they lost was the 2016 World Cup quarter-finals, with three home wins and two away draws since then.