Two European powerhouses – one looking to restore lost pride, the other trying to ensure their "golden generation" finally live up to the expectations. Expect a cracker of a contest when France vs Germany takes centre-stage at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil in the first of four quarterfinals.
Where to Watch Live
Get the France vs Germany report HERE
Get the Brazil vs Colombia report HERE
The round of 16 game is set for a 1 pm local time (9.30 pm IST, 5 pm BST, 12 pm ET) start, with live telecast on Sony Six in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. The match can be live streamed viewers in Germany HERE or HERE while viewers in France can live stream the action online HERE. Viewers in the US can catch the action on ESPN and ABC, with the option to live stream the game HERE or HERE. UK viewers can catch the action in BBC and ITV while the matches can also be live streamed HERE or HERE. Catch the game in Australia HERE, while South Africa viewers can do so HERE. Viewers in Africa can catch the action HERE, while audience in the Middle East and North Africa can live stream the match HERE.
Both teams come into this epic quarterfinal in Rio De Janeiro with contrasting expectations – France were never really thought to be capable of going all the way, with a quarterfinal finish not thought to be too bad, considering the state the team were in before Didier Deschamps took over. Germany, on the other hand are expected to go all the way and lift their first World Cup title since 1990, and anything less will be seen as a bit of a disappointment.
So, going into the last eight match at the Maracana, Germany will be under a lot more pressure to perform than their European counterparts, and that just might work in the favour of France, who can go into the match with a free mind and play good attacking football like they have done all World Cup.
"France is a top nation and we know what to expect, great players who until now have been playing well as a team," Germany midfielder Toni Kroos said. "I think we have a good chance of winning because in my eyes, [these kind of matches] are often decided in the midfield and who dominates those duels.
"That will be our goal, we know we are good there but if we all produce our performance then we will be the better team. The pressure is nothing new. We have the pressure because we are good players and a top team and that's why the expectations are high, for us personally, as well as Germany.
"To bring home the title. We still have a chance, we are in it, we have shown often enough that we can deal with the pressure and I hope we can continue to do this tomorrow."
Germany have not been at their best at this World Cup; not even close. Apart from an impressive opening win against Portugal, Joachim Low's men have struggled to stamp their authority in their games.
Ghana gave them a real run for their money, and if not for a late equaliser, they would have lost that game, while, despite dominating the match for large periods, Germany only just eked out a victory over the USA. And, if Germany were expected to stroll past Algeria in their last 16 match, they were in for a surprise, with the European team needing two extra time goals to just about seal their passage into the quarterfinals.
While Thomas Muller is right up there in the scoring charts of this World Cup, again, Germany have struggled to hit the back of the net with regularity, despite creating enough chances, and dominating possession. Against France, they might not get as many opportunities, and it will be up to the forwards as well as the midfielders to put away the chances when they come.
"We haven't been constant with our performance, we started well but these teams have nothing to lose, only to win, which can sometimes make it quite difficult," Low said. "Football-wise I don't think any team has played its best yet but this is normal in a tournament.
"People said: 'Who is Algeria?' But they don't know. Or Costa Rica or others, Mexico: a great team, Chile, Colombia, all very difficult. It is not always possible to play your best. We can't always work out what will happen, there are mistakes."
Mistakes, any, will be punished by this France team, who have the attacking quality to put any side to the sword. In Karim Benzema they have a striker in top form and buzzing with confidence, while the likes of Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Valbuena, Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi and Antoine Griezmann are all capable of finding the back of the net as well.
France laboured to a win over Nigeria in their round of 16 match, needing two goals in the final 11 minutes to see off the challenge of the Africans. The French will definitely have less of the ball against Germany, and their counter-attacking nous might just decide the outcome of the game – expect goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to play the sweeping role with regularity again.
Germany do have history on their side, though, having won all three of their previous World Cup matches, including that infamous semifinal in 1982 when goalkeeper Harald Schumacher rendered Patrick Battiston unconscious with an awful challenge.
"There will be a new page to write tomorrow," Deschamps said when asked about the tetchy history between the two teams. "We will do everything we can to make sure it is the most beautiful for us."
Team news: France: Defender Mamadou Sakho is available after missing the last 16 game through injury, and it remains to be seen if the Liverpool man comes in for Laurent Koscielny. Deschamps has no new injury concerns, and the manager might bring Griezmann back to the starting lineup at the expense of Giroud with Benzema going back to a central striking role.
Germany: Shkodran Mustafi will miss the rest of the World Cup after picking up a thigh injury in the last match, but fellow defender Mats Hummels is expected to feature. Low is struggling to have his players 100 percent fit with the manager confirming several members of his squad were struggling with illness.
"It was the case yesterday that nearly a third of our players were complaining of sore throats," Low said on Thursday. "It was a bit of a problem yesterday, but sometimes you have to wait a day to see how it develops.
"From yesterday to today none of our players have a temperature and all of them could train. Some of them still have a bit of a cold but it hasn't been the case that they have had any feeling of tiredness. I hope they all remain stable until tomorrow and that overnight we don't see any deterioration."
Key men: France: Benzema needs to get his goalscoring boots on after two matches without a goal, while Pogba will want to have another complete game with the midfielder impressing against Algeria.
Germany: Muller is the obvious choice, but all of Germany will be hoping Mesut Ozil light up the quarterfinal with his exquisite touch, after scoring his first World Cup goal in Brazil in the round of 16 encounter against Algeria.
Expected lineups: France: Lloris; Debuchy, Varane, Koscielny, Evra; Pogba, Cabaye, Matuidi; Valbuena, Benzema, Griezmann.
Germany: Neuer; Boateng, Mertesacker, Hummels, Howedes; Schweinsteiger, Lahm, Kroos; Ozil, Muller, Gotze.
Prediction: 3-2 to Germany after extra time