The second semi-final matchup is nearly upon us and this time it is World Champions Germany against the Host Nation France. Both of these teams are massive heavyweights and in terms of reputation and stakes, this is definitely the bigger of the 2 semi-final matches at Euro 2016.
Germany had a very sticky quarter final game against Italy that ended up in one of the most farcical penalty shoot outs I've ever seen. Italy and Germany are both nations in which penalties have never been a massive issue, certainly not like England, but neither of them could hit a barn door it seemed! There were some absolutely shocking penalties on display and we were finally put out of our misery by FC Koln left back Jonas Hector. The game itself was exciting at parts but a very even game, I actually thought Italy were going to nick it by playing on the counter attack but some great defending from both sides ensured that this game went the distance with Germany emerging as the eventual victors. Germany are likely to face a team more likely to attack them back in France which could play into their hands or it could backfire if they don't defend as well as they have been.
France had a much easier and much simpler path into the semi-finals with a 5-2 victory over minnows and England conquerors Iceland. France were 4-0 up by half time and they seem like the only team that have gotten better as the tournament has worn on. This is a bad omen for the Germans as France will be brimming with confidence and they have the squad to back it up. Antoine Griezmann seems to have hit form at just the right time too and is now the top goal scorer in the competition with 4 goals. He will be a thorn in the side of the Germans if they don't mark him and then you have to deal with the likes of Pogba, Payet and Giroud so this is going to be an unbelievable game.
These 2 teams will either cancel each other out or it will be an absolute goal fest and I think every neutral is hoping for the latter. The amount of talent on show in this game is silly. Both teams have starting 11s that would have a really good go at winning any league in the world at club level. Griezmann has 4 goals already, Giroud has 2 as does Payet, on the other side Gomez has 2, there are a lot of potential goals on the pitch.
I'm going for broke here and I'm going to say that this will be an absolute classic, lets hope I don't have to eat my words. I know that both of these teams have amazing goalkeepers and defences but they both also have so much creativity and firepower so this could be spectacular. Most people will be backing Germany and with some brilliant reasons but I fancy France to pull this out of the bag on home soil.
France were lightening quick out of the blocks against Iceland and I know that Iceland are not the greatest team on paper, but they had a cracking tournament and will have felt like they could give France a game, but France steamrolled them. If they come out of the blocks early here then Germany could be on the back foot early and lose the game.
I'm going to go for the most obvious candidate. He is bang in form and has managed to get into his stride after a slow introduction to the competition. If he is given a chance he is incredibly likely to score, this guy does not need multiple chances at goal, he can have one chance and score one goal, something that Germany will need to limit if they're to get anything out of this game.
I tipped this for the other semi-final purely because Bale and Ronaldo are playing but I've tipped it here because both teams have had a couple of penalties either for or against them already this tournament and I want to repeat the notion that I feel that a lot of penalties have been given at this tournament already. Whether this is because World Class footballers play with very fine margins or the referees are a bit too keen. Whatever reason it is, I wouldn't be shocked to see a penalty given here and it could decide the game.