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World Cup 2014

Combined XI | France vs Germany: World Cup quarter-finals

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Goalkeeper

Manuel Neuer 

The big keeper made his return from an injury just in time for the start of the German World Cup campaign. This World Cup has seen him play as a bit of a keeper-sweeper, and it isn’t an uncommon sight to see him dashing out of his penalty area to get to the ball ahead of the opposition player. Such efforts are going to be crucial against a lethal French forward line.

Defence

Mathieu Debuchy

The right back that may be headed to Arsenal to replace Sagna is currently ahead of him in the national set up. Debuchy has been very effective going forward and supporting the plethora of attacking talent that the French have on display. If France are going to target the German full backs, he will play an important role.

Raphael Varane

The French have been quite solid at the back, with the exception of a few crazy minutes against the Swiss. One could look at Varane and give him a lot of credit for this performance. Aside from the defensive side of his game, his ball playing ability has also been prominent, with an excellent pass to set up one of the goals against the Swiss being one of the highlights of the tournament.

Mats Hummels

Another key performer at the heart of the German defence, Hummels is the player that Germany will look to for defensive solidity and ball playing ability. He has missed a game through injury, but should be fit to feature in the mammoth quarter final clash against France. Benzema and co. will be hoping he has an off night.

Patrice Evra

 The leader of the rebellion 4 years ago, Evra has bounced back and is proving to be one of the most reliable players in the current French set up. The left back is having a renaissance of sorts in his career, with these performances inspiring hope among United fans for genuine competition at left back. Again, France will need to exploit the German full backs, and Evra will be important to ensure this.

Midfield

Toni Kroos

Reports of him moving to Real Madrid have emerged, but he will have to put this to the back of his mind as he takes on responsibility for the German midfield against powerful French opposition. Kroos has been a consistent performer in the German line up, and will look to step it up in the quarter final.

Paul Pogba

The big French midfielder started off the World Cup on a negative note, escaping a sending off after some indiscipline. He found himself on the bench at the start of the next game, but has responded well to that treatment, with some impressive performances since then. He will be the key man in the mouth watering clash of the German and French midfielders.

Blaise Matuidi

Yet another big name in the clash of the two best midfield line ups, Matuidi has had a good tournament, scoring a goal in the rout of Switzerland. Matuidi will look to put his energetic running, and solid technique to the use against Germany, as this French side look to make it to the semis, and beyond.

Attack

Karim Benzema

Prior to the second leg clash against Ukraine last year, Benzema faced a lot of doubts about his quality, especially on the international stage. That feels so strange now, as the Real Madrid striker has led the line for his country superbly. He has had a super tournament, playing through the middle, or the left, as he was deployed against Switzerland.

Thomas Muller

 Muller is a striker who has the tendency of being in the right place at the right time, but saying just that would be doing all his abilities tremendous injustice. Muller has already scored 4 times in this tournament, playing in a sort of False 9 role. His play aside from the goal scoring has also been positive, with an excellent assist for Gotze serving as the best example.

Mathieu Valbuena

One of the most talented players in a very talented French side, Valbuena has been an important creative outlet for his side. His passing, vision, and movement have been vital to a lot of the bewitching attacking moves that his team has put together. If Germany can keep him quiet, they will go a long way in ensuring a place in the next round.

 

What do you think about our Combined XI? Let us know your picks by leaving a comment below.

 

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