Germany and France renew their rivalry when they meet in the first match of the World Cup 2014 quarterfinals on Friday.
Germany are heavy 2-3 favorites to advance past France to the semifinals, and 29-20 moneyline favorites to claim victory in the match within the regulation 90 minutes.
The Germans started the group stage with a dominant 4-0 win over Portugal. However, after following up that win with a 2-2 draw against Ghana, a slim 1-0 win over the United States and a nail-biting, extra-time victory over a surprising Algerian side, concerns have been raised as to whether Germany can live up to their status as 7-2 World Cup futures betting favorites.
While Germany has not filled the net in their recent games as often as they did against Portugal, they have been in clear control of each of their subsequent three matches, using their superior technical skills to control the pace, with ball possession numbers in excess of 59% in each of their four matches.
Germany's passing game has also lived up to its reputation as the world's best. The Germans dominate World Cup passing stats, completing an amazing 84% of their passes.
To date, their 2560 completed passes dwarf every other World Cup squad's total number of pass attempts.
World Cup Prediction
Not surprisingly, Les Bleus are 2-1 moneyline underdogs on Friday, and 6-5 underdogs to advance to the semifinals.
France have rebounded well at Brazil 2014 after an embarrassing performance at the 2010 World Cup, when they went home winless and in organizational disarray following the group stage.
The squad struggled to find consistency since the beginning of 2013, winning just once in the first eight months of the year. France was brought to the brink in an emotional two-game aggregate playoff against Ukraine, overcoming a two-goal deficit to lock up their World Cup berth.
They have since gone undefeated, putting up clean sheets in five of their six victories, including three clean sheets so far in the World Cup.
But France's weak possession stats against Switzerland and a tough Nigeria squad could be a cause for concern. While poor possession numbers didn't prevent France from coming out on top in either match, they may not be so lucky against a potent German offense that has scored three or more goals in seven of their last 14 matches.
The total on Friday's match is set at 2.5, with a moneyline of 5-4 on the OVER and 2-3 on the UNDER.