2016 U-20s Women's World Cup Preview: Germany vs France

The big European derby is just around the corner. Can France finally get one back against Germany?

2016 U-20s Women's World Cup Preview: Germany vs France
Image credit: Getty Images

After avoiding each other during the qualifying stages of the U-20 Women's World Cup it was inevitable that the two big European names would meet in the tournament. That is right. France and Germany will meet in the final game of the quarter finals.

Germany are the most decorated out of the two in the fixture having qualified for each tournament and won three titles out of those seven. France are no stranger to the competition, though, they have featured five time. Their best run was in the World Cup just gone in 2014, and with many of their squad this time round earning third place, they will be looking to improve.

The game is sure to be interesting with German star Madeline Geir looking doubtful after leaving the pitch against Korea Republic with a knee injury. Luckily, Germany do have strength in numbers, number nine Lea Schüller who despite only netting one has displayed her strength going forward. In addition to Schüller, Melanie Ott is another option, she will be raring to go as she has only made one appearance in PNG.

France craving victory

Germany and France have faced each other twice in this setting, Germany coming out on top both times. Their most recent meeting came in 2014, where the Germans ended the hopes of Les Bluettes in the semi-finals. 

Germany's PNG record is so far greater, almost unbeatable, winning all three games by at least a two goal margin.

France, however, have been a little underwhelming; initially unable to break the deadlock with USA and Ghana. That was before picking themselves and beating the weakest team in the group, New Zealand, in the last game.

Ones to watch

While Germany may be without their number 10, Claudia Mateo has been in fine form for the French, scoring two of their four goals. She has also been instrumental in tiring the opposition's defence alongside striker Charlotte Marie Leger.

As the game will be closely matched, Germany will be looking to France's chief playmaker Delphine Cascarino as a major threat. Her quick runs and precise passing ability enables her to split through defences and provide service to France's strong attacking duo. She also initiated the scoring when her team took on Ghana in the group stage. Her impressive performances have earned her two Player of the Matches award in three games.

Similarly, France will be aware of Germany's forward Stefanie Sanders who made quite an impact in the U-17 European Championships. However, since she is new to this level, it will be interesting to see how defensive rock Hawa Cissoko approaches the challenge.

Defensively, Germany look incredibly tough with the experienced Rebecca Knaak leading the backline. She was part of the 2014 squad team in Canada that won the title. There are some youngsters among the backline such as 18 year old Anna Gerhardt who has left an impression on the tournament, having capped in all three games.

It will be a shame to see one of these teams leave the competition, but the fixture itself could not be more exciting.