As Germany prepare to negotiate a record-high 10th Women’s Euro semi-final, it’s clear to see how their pedigree is more than just historic. Though they didn’t enter the tournament as runaway favourites, many have them pegged as the likely side to reach Sunday’s showpiece against England at Wembley Stadium.
Wednesday’s showdown at Stadium MK will be a historic match for France, having reached the final four of the European Championship for the first time via a dramatic extra-time win over Euro 2017 winners, the Netherlands.
Les Bleues needed an Eve Perisset penalty in the 102nd minute to secure a 1-0 triumph and progression to their first continental semi-final.
Germany, meanwhile, will be looking to reach their ninth final following the disappointment of quarter-final exits at both the 2019 World Cup and Euro 2017. They are the only side yet to concede a single goal at the tournament.
This is the first competitive match between the pair since the 2015 World Cup quarter-final in Montreal, where Germany progressed 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in normal time.
Voss-Tecklenburg: A game of equals
Germany head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said: “We know that France have tremendous quality in transition and fantastic individual players with a lot of pace.
“We’ll give everything we have on Wednesday. I believe France also respect us after our performance [in the quarter-finals]. From that point of view, it’s going to be a game of equals.”
Diacre plans to savour first semi-final appearance
France head coach Corinne Diacre said: “I’m very proud because this team aimed at a big target; this team gives absolutely everything.
“This group is doing well; we have a semi-final to prepare for now, calmly. We will savour… getting through, and we are taking it step by step as always.”
Analysis: The ultra-prepared Germans against the maverick French
Sky Sports News’ Anton Toloui on the Sky Sports Women’s Euros podcast:
“I think it’s going to be quite fun, this is two teams we’ve seen that can attack. I was surprised by how hard Germany were pushed in the quarter-finals by Austria but it shows their resilience, and it shows that they aren’t as big favourites as we might have thought.
“France are a better team than Austria and if Austria caused that many problems, then what can France do?
“Any time I watch this France side, I enjoy it because of the pace they have in attack. Germany have got some excellent players that we have seen can be so consistent at this tournament.
“I don’t know if it’s going to be the collective brilliance of Germany against one or two players from France who can stand out. It’s the ultra-prepared Germans against the maverick French.
“If I was a Germany supporter, the one thing I would take heart from is they have the best midfield in the entire tournament. The midfield three of Oberdorf, Dabritz and Magull are superb.
“You compare that with France who have chopped and changed a bit and we know who isn’t there as well. If Germany get hold of the ball or dominate that midfield, that’s where they win the game. It also keeps the ball away from that attacking talent France have.”
Sky Sports’ Charlotte Marsh on the Sky Sports Women’s Euros podcast:
“We know and we have seen that Germany can be absolutely ruthless when they’re given their chances, whereas France aren’t so much. Even against the Netherlands, they scored via a penalty, they didn’t score from open play even though they had lots of chances.
“That could be where this game hinges – can France match that ruthlessness that Germany will likely show?
“I don’t think it’s going to be a high-scoring game, Germany have won games by a couple of goals and France have scored more. But as we saw against the Netherlands, can they make it count against these top teams?”
Dabritz: ‘We will give 1,000 per cent’
Germany midfielder Sara Dabritz has promised they will “give 1,000 per cent” in Wednesday’s Euro 2022 semi-final as she prepares to face a France team packed with familiar faces.
The 27-year-old has just moved to Champions League winners Lyon, having spent the last three years at Division 1 Feminine rivals Paris Saint-Germain.
“It’s going to be a special game,” she said. “For them, it’s historic to be in the semi-finals but for us, it will be a dream to go through and make it to the final. We will give everything, we will leave everything on the pitch.
“We know the strength of France and we will try to bring our qualities onto the pitch. I think you can see that we have a really strong team and we will try to give our best in the game and we hope to make it into the final.
“They will therefore be really motivated and it will also be their goal to make it to the final, but they will have to withstand a very motivated Germany team which has the big goal and dream of making the final.
“We have developed such a great atmosphere and team spirit in the squad and I can guarantee you that we will give 1,000 per cent to this match, so we can hopefully reach the final.”
Buhl ruled out after positive Covid result
Germany will take on France in their respective semi-final without winger Klara Buhl, who tested positive for Covid on Tuesday.
Coach Martine Voss-Tecklenberg wouldn’t be drawn on a likely replacement, but did highlight the quality and strength in depth of her squad. Germany have won eight of the previous 12 editions of this tournament.
The winner will face England – who beat Sweden 4-0 in the first semi-final – in Sunday’s final at Wembley Stadium.
The knock-out phase…
Wednesday July 20
Quarter-final 1: England 2-1 Spain (AET)
Thursday July 21
Quarter-final 2: Germany 2-0 Austria
Friday July 22
Quarter-final 3: Sweden 1-0 Belgium
Saturday July 23
Quarter-final 4: France 1-0 Netherlands (AET)
Tuesday July 26
Semi-final 1: England 4-0 Sweden
Wednesday July 27
Semi-final 2: Germany vs France – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Sunday July 31
Winners semi-final 1 v Winners semi-final 2 – kick-off 5pm, Wembley
Sky Sports News and Sky Sports’ digital platforms will be following every step of England’s Euro 2022 journey ahead of Sunday’s final.
On the road, the Sky Sports News Mobile Presentation bus will continue to bring you all the best guests and analysis from the likes of Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett offering their expert insight. The bus will depart Sheffield before heading to Wembley for the final.
Across SkySports.com, the Sky Sports App and on social media, we’ll have all the big moments covered with our previews, features, reports, analysis, plus the the Sky Sports Women’s Euros podcast with Sky Sports’ senior football journalist Charlotte Marsh and Sky Sports News reporter Anton Toloui.
And if you’re new to the England squad, don’t worry – here’s our guide to meeting the Lionesses.
As well as England, Sky Sports News and Sky Sports digital will also be covering all the knockout games as we head towards the showpiece final on July 31.