Women's Euro 2022 predictions: Germany and France set for tight semi-final
Eight-time European Women's Championship winners Germany are one game away from yet another final at Euro 2022.
Standing in their way are a strong and confident France team, who topped Group D before knocking out defending champions Netherlands in the quarter-finals.
The two European heavyweights will go head-to-head in Milton Keynes tonight and there appears to be very little to choose between them.
France have no fresh injury concerns going into the last-four showdown.
Germany are expected to stick with a similar starting line-up to the one that overcame Austria in the quarter-finals, but Klara Buhl has been ruled out after testing positive for coronavirus.
France may introduce either Clara Mateo or Ouleymata Sarr in attack following Marie-Antoinette Katoto's injury earlier in the tournament.
This is the first time France have progressed beyond the quarter-final stage of a European Championship but they are in fine form and go into their match with Germany unbeaten in their last 18 games in all competitions.
Germany have been ruthless in both boxes in this tournament so far, winning all four of their outings to nil and scoring at least two goals in each of them.
However, two of the last three meetings between these sides have gone the way of Les Bleues with the most recent clash finishing 1-0 to France in a friendly last June.
Despite their unrivalled pedigree, not a lot was expected from eight-time champions Germany coming into tournament after an underwhelming showing in the 2019 World Cup, with Martina Voss-Tecklenburg struggling to settle on her best team.
However, Die Nationalelf have quickly proved their doubters wrong in England, recording three comfortable group-stage wins — including an impressive 2-0 defeat of one of the pre-tournament favourites in Spain.
They then put in a solid performance against Austria in the quarter-finals and look like they will take some beating.
If there is one side who should feel up to the task of facing the Germans it is France, who set the tournament alight with a 5-1 thrashing of Italy in their opening fixture.
They conceded a couple of goals in the group stage but the speed of their transitions has been impressive, as has their ability to cope with the absence of star forward Katoto.
Kadidiatou Diani and Delphine Cascarino offer a decent attacking threat for Les Bleues, who managed to steer their way past the Netherlands after extra-time last Saturday and it would be a bold move to suggest they will crash out on Wednesday.
Both of these teams operate with similar 4-3-3 formations and will want to play on the front foot but it could be another cagey, low-scoring knockout duel.
These top sides may well cancel each other out over 90 minutes, meaning the winner could be determined by extra-time or even penalties.
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