Tale Of The Tape: World Cup – France vs Germany
- GOALKEEPERHugo Lloris, who plays his club football in London for Tottenham Hotspur, hasn't been exceptional this World Cup, but he hasn't had to be. The French breezed through the group stage and took care of Nigeria in the round of 16 with relative ease. Lloris has, however, been good on defending set pieces, commanding his box well and knowing when to come out and when to stay back.What a performance against the pesky Algerians in the round of 16 by Manuel Neuer. Another in a long line of great German goalkeepers, Neuer bailed out his defense on more than one occasion coming outside the box to thwart Algerian attacks. Neuer has been a one man show for the Germans and will need to be against a very underrated French front line.
- MIDFIELDPaul Pogba is one of the most underrated young midfielders in the world and finally got on the scoreboard last game against Nigeria. Just 21 years old, the hulking 6'2 midfielders not only is physical enough to win one on one battles but is a tremendous dribbler of the ball for someone his size. Mathieu Valbuena, eight inches shorter than the aforementioned Pogba, pulls the strings in the French midfield. His work rate was outstanding in the win over Nigeria and his crosses were absolutely spot on.Joachim Low has confirmed that he will continue to utilize Philipp Lahm in the Germany midfield ahead of their upcoming World Cup, alongside Mats Hummels, Andre Schurrle and Mesut Ozil. Their creativity hasn't been what it was in qualifying leading up to the World Cup, and their performances in the group stage left a lot to be desired. The names are there, but the performances haven't been.
- DEFENSEMathieu Debuchy, who plays for Newcastle in the English Premier League, continues to shine at right back. Raphael Varane and Laurent Koscielny are two world class defenders who have really played well so far, especially in the games against Ecuador and Switzerland. Patrice Evra, although over the hill just a bit, has performed capably on the left side.The Germans play four - yes four - centerbacks on the back line, and their pace has been a huge problem so far this tournament. Yes, they do a good job of clearing balls out of the box, especially on set pieces, but they are playing a dangerous game as far as playing a high line in recent games.
- FORWARDSKarim Benzema, before last game, was on his way to becoming a front runner for Golden Boot winner if France continued to advance but didn't have his best performance. Still, he should trouble the not so fleet of foot German defense. Olivier Giroud started last game and failed to duplicate his group stage success.Thomas Muller scored a hat trick in the opening game against Portugal and scored the German's lone goal against the US in the final game of the group stage. His pace and technical ability is second to none. Lukas Podolski hasn't been at his best but does possess a sweet left foot.
- FOODFrites, french toast, foie gras, frog's legs, ratatouille, truffes, escargot, fondue, creme brulee, crepes, croissants, briebratwurst, sauerkraut, currywurst, bavarian pretzels, spatzle, black forest cake, bavarian cream pie, streudel
With this game basically being a toss-up on the field, we go to the kitchen to decide the winner. It comes down to the cuisine, and we give the slight edge to the French. Plus, we like wine more than beer. Drink up!