Germany, France square off at Euro 2016

Germany, France square off at Euro 2016

Today’s Euro 2016 semifinal pits the world champions against the hosts. Which powerhouse will rise above the pressure to claim a spot in this weekend’s championship match?

At 3 p.m. ET, Germany and France square off at the Stade Velodrome in Marseilles. Fascinatingly, handicappers have yet to settle on a favorite. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives each nation odds of +175 to prevail. The over/under goal figure sits at two.

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France has actually dominated the recent history between the two sides, going 6-2-1 in their nine clashes dating back to 1990. Here’s the real sticking point, though: Germany came out on top, 1-0, in the 2014 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals. Thus, it’s fair to say that France does not own a competitive win vs. the Germans since 1958.

At least manager Didier Deschamps can take heart in knowing that he won’t have to contend with Mats Hummels in a few short hours. Germany’s standout scorer is unavailable due to yellow card accumulation, forcing Joachim Low to ask for even more from his supporting cast. Throw center forward Mario Gomez’s absence into the mix, and you’re ostensibly left with a real mismatch on paper.

Nonetheless, France must display the same relentless that marked Sunday’s 5-2 triumph over Iceland. Can Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet and the rest of the gang stay composed in the face of Germany’s suffocating defense? We believe in Les Bleus here. Prepare accordingly for a climatic tussle vs. Portugal.

THURSDAY EURO 2016 FREE PICK: FRANCE/GERMANY OVER 2 GOALS

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