France will take on Germany on Thursday, with the winner advancing to the Women’s EURO 2022 final. This is a preview to the semi-final.
France is going into the match without beating Germany in a major tournament. Les Blues are coming from an extra-time victory over the Netherlands, where they narrowly made it to the next round.
They have had a tough tournament, and will need to bring their all if they are to make the final. In their previous game they had 33 total shots on goals, but could only find the goal from a penalty kick.
Led by Wendie Renard, their players come from the biggest clubs in the world. They have showcased their talents at club level but are still waiting to fire on the international stage.
“I feel good. The group is feeling good as well. We have recovered well and we look forward to playing this match,” Renard said.
“The pitch seems fine and a bit softer. That is a good thing for us. The most important thing is the quality of the pitch.”
The French are determined to finally get one over their European rivals. They know what the Germans will bring and believe they can surprise them on Thursday.
“It’s a EURO semi-final so we’ll need to be strong and determined to win this match,” the centre-back said.
“We know the German mentality, we know this squad. They’ve shown what they can do every time they’ve played. They are a great team with great players, we’ll have to try our best tomorrow to win and be efficient on both sides of the pitch.”
Germany has been crowned the Women’s EURO champions eight times, before with four of those titles coming in the last five tournaments. It will be hoping to make the final yet again after a disappointing 2017 tournament.
Germany is yet to face a real challenge, advancing to the semi-finals with ease. Its team chemistry is undeniable with seven players from Wolfsburg and three from Bayern Munich.
It is yet to lose to France in a major tournament, and won’t want the first time to be on Thursday. The team has been solid in defence, composed in the midfield, and creative in attack.
“The mood is good, we’re all looking forward to the semi-final and can’t wait for kick-off,” Lena Oberdorf said.
“We have good quality in the squad, we have a lot of good wingers, even the players who are sitting on the bench. They’ve always brought quality when they’ve come on in recent matches, so I’m not worried.”
Oberdorf spoke about which players Germany are most worried about making an impact in the game. She said they will need to watch out for centre-back Wendie Renard and winger Delphine Cascarino.
“France have a lot of good players but I think we’ll certainly have to watch out for Wendie Renard, particularly at set pieces because they often look for her corners and free kicks,” she said.
[Delphine] Cascarino out wide is also an incredibly good player, with good crossing, good finishing and immense pace.”
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#3 Wendie Renard (Lyon)
#6 Sandie Toletti (Levante)
#7 Sakina Karchaoui (PSG)
#8 Grace Geyoro (PSG)
#11 Kadidiatou Diani (PSG)
#12 Melvine Malard (Lyon)
#14 Charlotte Bilbault (Montpellier)
#19 Griedge Mbock Bathy (Lyon)
#20 Delphine Cascarino (Lyon)
#21 Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (Juventus)
#22 Eve Perisset (Chelsea)
#1 Merle Frohms (Wolfsburg)
#3 Kathrin Hendrich (Wolfsburg)
#5 Marina Hegering (Wolfsburg)
#6 Lena Oberdorf (Wolfsburg)
#9 Svenja Huth (Wolfsburg)
#11 Alexandra Popp (Wolfsburg)
#13 Sara Dabritz (Lyon)
#15 Giulia Gwinn (Bayern Munich)
#17 Felicitas Rauch (Wolfsburg)
#19 Klara Buhl (Bayern Munich)
#20 Lina Magull (Bayern Munich)
Player to watch
Wendie Renard (France)
The captain of the French national team, Renard will need to lead by example at the back of the field. Described by the New York Times as an ‘insitution’, she has continually provided for the team this tournament in defence.
She received a match rating of eight against the Netherlands, and gave them no opportunity to move in attack. If France are to beat Germany, Renard will need to have another show-stopper performance.
It is likely that the 32-year-old will not play in another EURO tournament as she hopes to go out as a winner.
Merle Frohms (Germany)
The Wolfsburg goalkeeper has played an instrumental role in Germany’s dominance. A main staple with the team, she has yet to concede a goal. Coming into the game with four clean sheets, Frohms will be hoping she can continue her red-hot form.
With France having 33 shots on goal against the Netherlands, Frohms will have to be aware of the ball coming from every direction. If Germany is to walk away with the win, she needs to have a big game and let no goals in.
Road to Semi-Final
Game 1: France  def Italy 
Game 2: France  def Belgium 
Game 3: France  drew with Iceland 
Quarter-Final: France  def Netherlands 
Game 1: Germany  def Denmark 
Game 2: Germany  def Spain 
Game 3: Germany  def Finland 
Quarter-Final: Germany  def Austria 
The game can be watched this Thursday at 5:00am AEST on Optus Sport.
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