France and Germany have become regular rivals over the last decade, and memories of 2016 in particular will be strong as the two countries reconvene at the Football Arena Munich.
• This Group F opener is a repeat of the UEFA EURO 2016 semi-final, won 2-0 by France two years after Germany had beaten them in the last eight of the FIFA World Cup.
• Both teams have frequently featured in the knockout stages of recent editions of the UEFA European Championship, although with holders Portugal – who beat France in the 2016 final – also in Group F, the importance of a solid start will not be lost on either side.
• As defending world champions, France can become the first country to hold world and European titles at the same time twice, having ended Germany’s hopes of doing likewise in 2016.
• Two Antoine Griezmann goals settled the semi-final at the Stade Vélodrome on 7 July 2016, taking France into a final they would lose to Portugal after extra time.
• France and Germany have met three times since that UEFA EURO 2016 fixture, including their first ever fixture in Munich – a goalless draw in the UEFA Nations League on 6 September 2018, Les Bleus’ first outing since their World Cup triumph in Moscow.
• Griezmann again scored twice in the reverse fixture in that UEFA Nations League campaign, helping Les Bleus to a 2-1 win at the Stade de France on 16 October 2018. The France striker’s second goal, an 80th-minute penalty, proved decisive, an early Toni Kroos spot kick having given the visitors the lead.
• Germany twice came from behind to salvage a 2-2 friendly draw against France in Cologne on 14 November 2017. Alexandre Lacazette scored twice for the away team with Timo Werner and – three minutes into stoppage time – Lars Stindl replying for the home side.
• Those results mean France have won 14 of the sides’ 31 fixtures, compared to nine victories for Germany. Coaches Didier Deschamps and Joachim Löw have been in opposition for the last seven matches.
• France are unbeaten in five matches against Germany (W3 D2), since a 1-0 loss in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals, Mats Hummels’ early header settling the contest in Rio de Janeiro.
• Their five games at final tournaments have ended in two wins apiece and one draw, although that also went the Mannschaft’s way, West Germany winning 5-4 on penalties after their 1982 World Cup semi-final had finished 3-3 in Spain.
• The same teams also crossed paths in the World Cup semi-finals four years later, West Germany triumphing 2-0 in Mexico. On both occasions, they went on to lose in the final.
• Their 2016 success was France’s first competitive finals win against Germany since a 6-3 success in the third-place play-off at the 1958 World Cup.
• France’s record away to Germany is W4…
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