The French national team face their German counterpart this Wednesday (9pm) with the ambition of qualifying for their first major international final.
Our special correspondent in Milton Keynes
Where to watch the semi-final of Les Bleues?
As in all the matches of the French team during this European Championship, viewers will be able to choose between TF1 and Canal+, which will each broadcast the match next to it. On TF1, the commentary tandem will be the same as for the matches of the blues, specifically Grégoire Margotton and Bixente Lizarazu, while Canal + will line up a Grégoire Marchal-Aline Riera duo. The start will take place at 21.00 and you can also follow this duel live with commentary on Le Figaro Sport.
What is at stake for the French national team?
Will the third semi-final be the right one for the French women, who have never played in the final of a major international competition? During the 2011 World Cup, the Americans put an end to the blue dream in the last ten minutes of the game (1-3). A year later, Eugénie Le sommer and co confirmed their new status by joining the last four of the London Olympics. But the end was cruel, with a loss against Japan (1-2), before Canada plunged the knife into the wound during the 3-game.e up (0-1). The next ? There is no need to go back to that five-game losing streak in the quarter-finals, a glass ceiling that Corinne Deacon’s men broke by dominating the Netherlands in the quarter-finals (1-0 after extra time). But in Milton Keynes, the Blues do not want to stop on such a good path and aim to beat Germany, because as captain Wendie Renard recalled in a press conference on Tuesday: “In a tournament, we only remember the winner and losing in quarters or halves, it makes no difference.»
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The same starting line-up as in the quarter-finals?
That would be the trend, but Corinne Deacon, since the beginning of the competition, likes to play with everyone’s expectations. A priori, the only certainty concerns the rear-guard, which will not move one iota, Griedge Mbock keeping his place in the center next to Wendie Renard, Sakina Karchaoui continuing her undermining task on the left, as well as Eve Périsset on the right. In midfield, the status quo also looks likely with the Bilbault-Geyoro-Toletti trio, and Clara Mateo remains more of a joker during the game than a potential starter in the coach’s eyes. And this, despite his brilliant performances and his vision of the game almost unmatched among the Blues. So there remains the great unknown in attack. Disappointing in the quarters, Melvine Malard could lose her leadership position in favor of… Kadidiatou Diani, forced to refocus to make room on the right for Delphine Cascarino and on the left for the young Selma Bacha, 21 years old, chosen player of the match against the Dutch thanks to her thunderous entrance on the hour, Malard or Bacha, that seems to be the only question.
Les Bleues’ likely starting XI:
Peyraud-Magnin – Perisset, Mbock, Renard (cap.), Karchaoui – Geyoro, Bilbault, Toletti – Diani, Malard (or Bacha), D. Cascarino
Germany with Popp, but without Bühl
Germany will rely on itsserial scorer» Alexandra Popp to overcome the French obstacle and try to get closer to a victory of a 9th European crown. It’s simple, so far the Wolfsburg striker has scored in every game of this Euro Cup, bringing his total for national team goals to 53. Another statistic, more surprising this one, Popp has never done the first goal in these four games. As if waiting for his moment, leaving his companions the pleasure of opening the mark. Like the young Klara Bühl, 21 years old, a true revelation of this European Cup. Unfortunately, he tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday and will not play in the semi-final. But beyond their attacking efficiency, Germany have so far impressed with their defensive rigour. Neither Denmark (4-0), nor Spain (2-0), nor Finland (3-0), nor Austria (2-0) have managed to shake their nets. Les Bleues would be well advised not to waste as much as they did in the quarter-finals…