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UEFA Nations League: Germany Face France in Inaugural Match of New Competition

On Thursday, Germany face France in what will be both teams’ first game since the summer’s World Cup in Russia. Whilst both teams experienced very different outcomes in this year’s tournament, the UEFA Nations League is seen as a fresh start. World champions France enter full of confidence having just won the most prestigious prize in world football, whereas Germany arrive for the inaugural game coming off a disastrous tournament in Russia. However, the past is the past with both teams looking forward to UEFA 2020.

Germany v France Preview

The match will kick off at 7:45 BST on Thursday, 6th of September at the Allianz Arena.

What is the UEFA Nations League?

If you don’t know what the UEFA Nations League is, you aren’t alone. A brand new format, UEFA has separated 55 European teams into four leagues. The teams have been drawn into groups based on their UEFA ranking as of October 2017. Top tier teams go into group A and the lowest ranked teams into group D. The leagues are split into four groups of three, with the group winners entering a semi-final format to see who will be crowned UEFA Nations League winners. This tournament will also see the nations who finish bottom of their group relegated to the league below for 2020.

Germany Squad

After what was an awful summer for the Germans, Joachim Löw has called up the same group with only a couple of notable changes. Manchester City star Leroy Sané is back and is expected to feature. Arsenal star Mesut Özil has retired from international football along with Stuttgart striker Mario Gomez. The squad has some new, young names. Löw has called up defenders Thilo Kehrer (21) and Jonathan Tah (22), with midfielder Kai Havertz (19). All three could play a part in Thursday’s game. As for the starters, Germany will once again rely on household names such as Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos and Manuel Neuer.

France Squad

France head into this game full of confidence. Coming off a World Cup win, Didier Deschamps is expected to field a relatively unchanged side. The back-four, featuring star man Raphaël Varane, is expected to remain, with the key defensive change being in goal. Tottenham and France captain Hugo Lloris is missing from the squad with a muscle injury. The World Cup winner is set to be replaced by PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, with regular backup Steve Mandanda also out injured. Deschamps will rely on the same midfield selections as in Russia, with the group once again headlined by Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté. World Cup star Kylian Mbappé is also set to feature, alongside Antoine Griezmann.

Germany Really Need a Win

After a shocking World Cup group stage exit, Germany will look to bounce back in the UEFA Nations League. Facing the world champions in your first game isn’t ideal, but expect Germany to embrace the challenge. It’s clear the German football federation see their World Cup blunder as just a blip, with not only Löw keeping his job but minimal changes made to the squad. The Germans remain confident in the talent they took to Russia, despite the bad result. Against France, Germany need a win. Not just to help their position in the group, but to help regain the trust of the German fans. The German people were left devasted by what ended up being one of their worst World Cup performances ever. A win against the world champions would do a world of good for everyone who supports Die Mannschaft.


These two nations have played each other on 29 occasions. France have won 13 times, Germany ten times and there have been six draws between the two teams. The last meeting between the two teams was back in 2017 when a 2-2 draw was played out. However, the last competitive meeting between these two saw France beat Germany 2-0 in the Euro 2016 semi-final.

A relatively close matchup, this is a difficult game to call. France comes in with four wins in their last five. Germany, on the other hand, have lost three out of five. Expect all eyes to be on Joachim Löw, with the German on the hot seat for the first time. Deschamps and his France team enter with less pressure to win but should still come out looking to punish a struggling Germany side. PSG star Mbappé has started the season well and will be looking to continue his good run of form. Bayern Munich forward Müller has also started his season well, expect him to play well with his poor World Cup performances lurking over him.

If all goes to plan, Germany should win on Thursday. The French players may suffer from a World Cup hangover, with the team going in with little to prove. Germany has doubters and plenty of them, a fully motivated Germany team is bad news for France and the rest of Europe.

Main Photo


Embed from Getty Images


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