HOSTS France have pretty much cruised into the last four and now face their toughest test.

There's no doubt in my mind France have been Euro 2016's best performers but conceding two goals against Iceland highlighted defensive deficiences we knew about pre-tournament.

Sure, those goals were conceded when the quarter-final was won but it's clear France can be got at down the flanks.

I also have no doubt Germany will make it as tough as possible for the hosts in tonight's semi-final in Marseille.

But with home advantage – and as I have them on my anteposts – I'm tipping France to qualify and hopefully triumph in 90 minutes.

Germany exorcised their ghost of Italy in the semi-finals but at a cost with Mario Gomez and Sami Khedira injured and Mats Hummels while Bastian Schweinsteiger is a doubt.

Shkodran Mustafi will replace Hummels and Liverpool's Emre Can is set to be thrown in at the deep end in midfield but it's Gomez who will be the biggest loss with boss Joachim Low thinking about playing Mario Gotze as a false No.9. Gomez is the only German to score more than once in France and with Thomas Muller misfiring you have to wonder who will pose the biggest threat for Low's men.

All these changes weaken the Germans and I'm on France at to make the Final at 9-10 with Ladbrokes. They should do it in normal time and that pays 9-5 at Ladbrokes and bet365.

France are unbeaten in their last 17 major tournament games played on home soil, winning 15 and drawing two. Their last defeat was in July 1960 against Czechoslovakia.

Didier Deschamps will be boosted by the return of Leicester star N'Golo Kante while goals have been plentiful from attacking trio Olivier Giroud – nine goals in 10 games – Antoine Griezmann and Dmitri Payet. And of course they have Paul Pogba who has been brilliant at times.

Picking a first scorer isn't easy but with Hummels out and Griezmann possibly playing deeper Giroud is favoured at 6-1 at BetBright. Griezmann is 7-1 with Payet 17-2.

Most bookies can't split the sides with Germany 2-1 at 888sport and the draw 11-5 with boylesports.

It should be an open and exciting game and both to score appeals at 11-10 with William Hill as does France to score 2+ at 2-1 with William Hill.

Recommended Bets


France to qualify

France to score 2+

Giroud to score first

Both teams to score

  1. elvis parsley 4 years ago

    Germany have bored the pants off me but haven’t yet conceded in open play and doubt if France have the stomach or the defensive stability to stop ze black and white machine.
    1 or 2-0 for germany

  2. elvis parsley 4 years ago

    France might have some consolation with a horse called Bastille day in the 7-10 at Epsom

  3. chris guy 4 years ago

    Giroud to score a header anytime @ 9/1 (Hills)

    Payet to score from outside the box anytime @ 14/1 (Hills)

    Boateng to be shown a card @ 13/4 (888sport)

    Good luck everyone

  4. jimron12 4 years ago

    Germany win to nil for me 1-0 or 2-0

  5. craigyboy 4 years ago

    Can’t look past the Germans.
    Think back to two years ago.
    The well fancied hosts v Germany.
    I remember seeing Brazil well fancied back then and they got took to the cleaners. Game over by HT.
    Now onto today.
    The well fancied hosts v Germany.
    Sounds familiar. France will need to make their approach to be defensively sound before any belief in the form of attack otherwise Germany could grab a hat full.
    I’m sure they’ll be keen to do what they did to Brazil on their own turf two years ago and with the people missing it for me puts added pressure on France.
    Mr F I know football is all about opinions but I don’t share your opinion that France have been the best side at the tournament. I don’t think being the best side at a tournament wins you the tournament anymore either. Goes to show its the teams that are organised and have the mentality not to panic and take the chances at the important times that normally prevail. Italy, Germany, Wales and also Iceland have prevailed and excelled at this and to a certain extent possibly Portugal (how they have reached the final I’ll never know).
    I’ve backed Germany and believe by overcoming Italy in the previous round will have that feeling of invincibility about them. France have had a very very very easy ride to the semi-final and with that stuttered against Romania Ireland and Switzerland, left it late against Albania and conceded two against Iceland when cruising. Massive test for France tonight and one I think will be a step too far. Germany all day for me!

  6. lonegunman 4 years ago

    Watching both sides play in this euros there is only one winner and that’s Germany. France have been a big disappointment and the Germans are machines. It wouldn’t surprise me if they activated the minus one goal market at 11/2. I’ll be on the Germans to qualify

  7. bertie 4 years ago

    If your backing France please bear in mind that France have not beaten Germany in a major tournament since 1958 !

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  9. lonegunman 4 years ago

    Ref helped France. Ref was not strong at all. I think a strong ref Germany go through. It’s a shame a big comp like this is being decided by a ref and not the team

    • Mr Fixit 4 years ago

      callum Giffen, refs often decide games – that’s life.
      I don’t think Germany were the better team because they don’t have a goalscorer.
      No Gomez was always going to be a problem as no one else is scoring.

  10. craigyboy 4 years ago

    The punditry on BBC were a joke tonight.. Biased. They all wanted Germany out. The two penalty shouts for Germany werent even mentioned when reviewing the contentious French penalty. I feel neither of the three were nailed on penalties but the French got the rub of the green. Not one of the French players appealed for it and it took the fans ten mins to realise the penalty had been given. France were second best tonight. Germany lacked that cutting edge I agree but they were the better side.

    • Mr Fixit 4 years ago

      craigboy, you can be the better side but no use if you don’t have a striker.
      I don’t listen to BBC 1 commentators – usually watch with Radio 5 sound.

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