France vs. Germany: Last-Minute Live Stream and Preview for 2014 World Cup

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France vs. Germany: Last-Minute Live Stream and Preview for 2014 World Cup
Martin Rose/Getty Images

Europe is guaranteed at least one participant in the World Cup semi-finals as former winners France and Germany prepare to contest their quarter-final match in Rio de Janeiro.

The game at the Maracana is the only last-eight contest where two former world champions are pitted against each other.

Here is last-minute information on how you can watch the blockbuster encounter:

 

When: Friday, July 4, at 5 p.m. BST (12 p.m. ET)

Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

TV: BBC HD (UK only); ESPN (U.S. only)

Live Stream: BBC iPlayer (UK only); ESPN Player (U.S. only)

 

Antoine Griezmann to Be France's Hero?

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Tactically, both France and Germany line up very similarly. Both lean towards the trappings of 4-3-3 and both teams are stronger going forward than they are in defence.

The quarter-final match between the two giants of world football will come down to a chess match of selection, and in Antoine Griezmann the French have a wonderful and exuberant option. 

The 23-year-old from Real Sociedad dragged his country over the finish line in their last knockout match against Nigeria, and he looks a probable candidate to start the Germany game. 

The forward hit 16 goals in 35 La Liga matches last year, per WhoScored.com, exploding his reputation at club level in Spain. 

But now he has an opportunity on the biggest of all stages against a German team that looks like it could hemorrhage goals against the right forward line.

Guardian football writer Amy Lawrence explained why Griezmann should start the quarter-final after his showing in Brazil so far:

In their round of 16 match, France started with star striker Karim Benzema on the left, and the Real Madrid player looked discombobulated in the position. He has just spent the whole season as the central figure between Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale at Real Madrid, and his efforts out wide lacked purpose. 

If France can harness the obvious threat of Benzema in the middle, with a supporting cast of Griezmann and Mathieu Valbuena, the French can win this match.

The Germans do not appear as free-scoring as they were in their opening 4-0 defeat of Portugal, and if France can strike first in the game, it will make for a classic tie.

 

Joachim Low Needs More From Germany

Buda Mendes/Getty Images

German coach Joachim Low has called for more from his players in the wake of his team's 2-1 extra-time victory over Algeria in the round of 16.

Low was frank in his assessment of his team and said his side would need to improve against the French to proceed further. He said, per the AFP, via FIFA.com: "We must be better for the match against the French. Today was a victory of the will. During the first half we were poor, we gave away a lot of ball, which invited Algeria to counter-attack us."

Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

The Germans will be without full-back Shkodran Mustafi after Low confirmed the defender will not feature for the rest of the tournament after injury in the previous game, per FIFA.com. 

Low's team is likely to be unchanged besides this enforced replacement.

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Once again, the onus and responsibility will lie with Thomas Mueller to lead the front line and to take Germany into the final stages of the competition. Mueller has been inspirational so far in Brazil, but Germany's lack of a genuine striking option, besides the aging legs of Miroslav Klose, could end up coming back to haunt them.

The tie has a draw written all over it with a French side who will not be intimidated by what Germany has to offer. If France can defend to their maximum, they can take the Germans the full 120 minutes and see them off in a penalty shootout, if it is needed. 

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