Low: There are no favourites

Joachim Low has revealed that there are no favourites ahead of the Euro 2016 semi-final clash between host nation France and Germany.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Thursday's crucial tie at Stade Velodrome, the Germany head coach addressed a number of talking points including his starting line-up, the availability of Bastian Schweinsteiger and their opposition's strengths and weaknesses.

"Bastian Schweinsteiger will definitely be starting," Low said "He's physically prepared and has the strength to play from the start. He was able to take part in all of the exercise during this morning's training session without raising any concerns.

"He has fully recovered from his injury. There are no more doubts in my mind regarding the starting XI, I've got it in my head."

Schweinsteiger will replace Sami Khedira in the team, with the Juventus midfielder having been ruled out with a thigh injury, along with Mario Gomez (hamstring) and defender Matt Hummels, who is suspended after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament, against Italy.

"It's not easy for us to replace these three players. That's why Bastian with his experience is important," Low added. "He made a good impression against Italy and got properly stuck into the game. We will try to compromise with the absentees. I trust the players who will start and those who may come on."

The world champions are gunning for their fourth European Championship title and Low highlighted Les Bleus' attacking potential as a threat to the Germans achieving the double.

"France have a very flexible team – forceful on the attack. They have, I think, the best chance-conversion rate in the tournament so far, and I predict they will attack us with everything they have," he declared.

"This means we'll have to be strong as a unit, we need to be compact, keep things tight. It will be difficult for us if France start to open up the spaces."

Germany defeated Didier Deschamps' side in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals, but Low believes that the French are much better now than they were in Brazil two years ago.

"We're the toughest team France has had to face in the tournament so far and we will give everything to reach the final. But France are better, in my opinion, than they were in 2014," he said.

"It will be a very interesting encounter with more chances than in our game against Italy. We're not the favourites, because we're playing against an entire country. There are no favourites, it doesn't matter anyway. Both teams have their strengths."

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