Munich Franck Ribery is a torn man on Tuesday night. “Two hearts beat in my chest in this duel,” the 38-year-old French told Kicker and added, “I love Germany during my twelve years at Bayern, but I will still be French. So, 0: I prefer a 0 tie. Well, let’s say 1 :1 so fans can see the goals, or 5:5.”
Pavard and Hernandez must provide defensive stability in France
Fans would welcome such a scene, but coaches Joachim Low and Didier Deschamps do not. Defensive stability is the magic word for both sides.
In the French squad, two Bayern Munich stars must ensure this as well: Benjamin Pavard (25) and Lucas Hernandez (25), who regularly occupy a place at full-back.
“Playing the first match against Germany, and then also in Munich, is something special,” said Pavard. “I met many friends. But during the match there are my opponents. There are no gifts.” In theory, the French could play with as many Bayern players as Germany.
With Leon Goretzka still missing from the team after a muscle injury, Niklas Sule, Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala on the bench, the DFB quartet from Munich will be: Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry.
In addition to Pavard and Hernández, Corentin Tolisso (26) and Kingsley Coman (25) are also on the French list, but at first they are just wild cards.
In Koeman at least, Ribery considers this decision questionable. “Of course he plays Koeman,” said Ribery of Bild. “He has to play for me. With his quality, strength and dribbling skills, he can make the difference.”
Hernandez last two times from the start
Liberté, Egalité, Bavière – How strong can Bayern expect the German side? Pavard set a goal in dress rehearsal against Bulgaria (3-0).
Hernandez was in the starting lineup for both pre-season games. He knows very well his potential opponent Kimmich is an advantage.
Pavard on Tolisso: ‘We never doubted him’
Tolisso played close to the starting lineup despite recovering from injury. “He is undoubtedly the biggest winner in preparations,” wrote the trade magazine France Football. “Coco is a great guy and an absolute professional,” Pavard said. “We never doubted him.”
In Ribery’s eyes, the 26-year-old is “very important for the national team”. Tolisso has what it takes to be an EM surprise.