Deschamps: Germany a step ahead

Les Bleus

France coach Didier Deschamps admits that Germany are "a level above" his side as the nations prepare to clash in a glamour friendly in Cologne on Tuesday evening.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

International friendly, RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne (20:45 CET kick-off)

Germany  -  France

The final outing of 2017 for the two sides is a rematch of the Euro 2016 semi-final in Marseille, which Les Bleus won 2-0. But Germany are unbeaten in 20 games since then, with Joachim Löw's men coming through World Cup qualifying with a perfect record of 10 wins from 10 and also winning the Confederations Cup in Russia.

"I think Germany are a level above us given their experience, even if Joachim Löw has brought a lot of young players into his squad," Deschamps said at a press conference on the eve of the match, which will be played at the 50,000-capacity RheinEnergieStadion.

"You just need to look at when this adventure began for Germany. It was back in 2004 and they only won the title in 2014. It is with time that you gain that kind of experience. We are still behind in that regard. But every match and every get-together allows my players to progress and acquire extra experience."

France players hold a minute's silence before training in memory of the victims of the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks

This is the first friendly clash between the teams since France won 2-0 on the night of the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks on Paris, two years and one day ago. Events of that night remain fresh in the memory and a number of those who played in that game will be involved once more here. There are plenty of fresh faces in both squads, however, with Deschamps testing some new faces in Friday's 2-0 home win over Wales at the Stade de France.

Changes expected

The coach will make changes to his starting line-up from the Wales victory, with Raphaël Varane, Lucas Digne, Adrien Rabiot, Alexandre Lacazette and Anthony Martial all contenders to start. Antoine Griezmann, who got the opening goal on Friday, is set to drop out.

"It is probable. We will probably also change some of the players," said Deschamps when asked if he would change his system. "We can perform well in a 4-3-3 or in a 4-4-2. Very few teams play that way, but we used it during the Euro and kept it to the end. But there is not just one system. Germany are a reference when it comes to playing with three centre-backs, and we need to be able to perform in several systems."

Germany drew 0-0 with England at Wembley at the weekend and are looking to complete the calendar year undefeated. Kevin Trapp, out of favour at Paris Saint-Germain, is in line to start in goal for the hosts.

"France are a team of great quality with world-class forwards who have different profiles and midfielders who are also capable of getting forward. I think they can be a lot more dangerous than England. They are also a great footballing nation when it comes to bringing through young players," said Löw.

Probable teams

Germany: Trapp; Kimmich, Hummels, Süle; Rudy, Khedira (c), Kroos, Plattenhardt; Stindl, Götze; Wagner

France: Mandanda; Jallet, Varane (c), Umtiti, Digne; Tolisso, Rabiot, Matuidi; Mbappé, Lacazette, Martial

>> LES BLEUS: Fixtures/results

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