The 2014 World Cup really starts to get serious this weekend, with the eight teams remaining in the tournament battling for a place in the semi-finals.
The all-European clash between France and Germany is arguably the most intriguing of the four quarter-final games and it would not surprise if they two sides produced one of the best games of the tournament.
France made a flying start to their 2014 World Cup campaign and they stamped themselves as one of the leading contenders for the tournament after they dismantled Switzerland to record a dominant 5-2 victory.
The French were unable to breakdown Ecuador in their final pool game and it took them 79 minutes to get on the scoreboard against Nigeria; with Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud unable to take advantage of a number of chances.
It is highly unlike that France will have as much possession against Germany as they did against Nigeria and Benzema and Giroud will need to produce an improved performance if Les Blues is going to progress to the semi-finals.
Germany could not have asked for a better start to the 2014 World Cup, defeating Portugal 4-0 in their opening game of the tournament, but since that convincing victory they have been far from impressive.
The questionable German defense conceded two goals against Ghana in their second pool game and they were unable to take all three points, while they dominated the United States but could only come away with one goal.
Germany’s most worrying effort came against Algeria in their Round Of 16 clash; with the Germans lacking their typical composure and requiring extra-time to progress to the final eight of the 2014 World Cup.
If Germany produce a similar performance against France they will not qualify for their fourth straight World Cup semi-final, but this German side is packed with talented players and can never be written off.
German coach Joachim Lowe has been criticised for his insistence on playing Phillip Lahm in the midfield, while he admitted this morning that a number of players in his side were struggling with the flu and he has been unable to confirm the make-up of his side.
There is very little between Germany and France and the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au suggests as much; with Germany ($2.50) narrow favourites from France ($3) and the draw ($3.25).
This game has extra-time written all over it and the $3.25 on offer for the draw represents outstanding value, while the $10 on offer for Germany to win on penalties or in extra time is also worth a bet.
It is also worth keeping an eye on any news coming out of the German camp and if the likes of Thomas Muller or Lahm are ruled out of the clash, taking advantage of the $3 on offer for France would be a good play because it certainly will not last.
Leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au is also offering a couple of special betting markets that are well worth a look. Karim Benzema to score in normal time and France to win at normal time is available at $5, while $4 is on offer for Thomas Muller to score in normal time and Germany to win in normal time!