UEFA Nations League: Germany vs France preview

The top tier of the new UEFA Nations League competition kicks off on Thursday evening with a cracking match between the last two teams that have won the FIFA World Cup as Germany host France at Allianz Arena in Munich. The two teams have last met in a friendly match in 2017, which ended 2-2. The two nations have also clashed at the 2016 European Championship, where Germany had a disappointing performance and lost 2-0 to France in the semi-finals. The last time Germany won against France was at the 2014 World Cup, when they secured a 1-0 victory in the quarter-finals.

Germany are looking for redemption after a terrible showing at the 2018 World Cup, where they lost two of their three matches and finished at the bottom of the table in Group F. Moreover, their whole 2018 has been quite poor in terms of results so far, they have won just two of their seven matches, including friendlies, and have lost four. Head coach Joachim Low has decided to recall Manchester City winger Leroy Sane for this match after having left him out from the World Cup squad this summer.

France should be full of confidence after having won the FIFA World Cup this summer, head coach Didier Deschamps has led them to a great triumph in Russia and he will be hoping for more glory soon. This will be the first match for Les Bleus after the 4-2 victory over Croatia in the World Cup final. France have lost just one of their twelve matches in 2018, a 3-2 defeat against Colombia in a friendly, and they have won nine of them. Didier Deschamps will most likely use the same starting eleven as in the World Cup final except goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who is injured and should be replaced by Alphonse Areola. Manchester City left-back Benjamin Mendy might also get a starting berth after having played very well for his club this season.

Probable line-ups:

Germany: Neuer - Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector - Goretzka, Kroos, Gundogan - Muller, Werner, Reus

France: Areola - Pavard, Umtiti, Varane, Mendy - Mbappe, Pogba, Kante, Matuidi - Giroud, Griezmann

My prediction: 1-1 draw, Germany won't accept a defeat here but France are stronger.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Germany win - 2.50
Draw - 3.30
France win - 2.80

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