Matuidi: Germany are favourites to win quarter-final clash

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder says Joachim Low's side's recent successes give them the edge ahead of Friday's clash and praised both Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller

Blaise Matuidi has labelled Germany as “favourites” ahead of France's World Cup quarter-final clash against Joachim Low’s side on Friday.

The two sides will attempt to qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament when they face each other at the Maracana, with Didier Deschamps' men having arguably been the more impressive of the two teams.

But Matuidi insists France are underdogs in Rio de Janeiro because of their lack of success in recent years compared to a Germany side who have finished third at the past two World Cups and were runners-up in 2002.

"Germany are favourites because of their recent past,” Matuidi said.

“But in a match, anything can happen – you could see that in the last 16 round.

“There is currently no favourite team. This is a very tough competition. In a match, anything can happen.

“We will make sure to cause them problems and do everything to qualify.”

The Paris Saint-Germain star highlighted Germany pair Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller – who has scored four goals so far in Brazil – as the key players who have made the difference for Low’s side at the World Cup this summer. 

“Germany are very strong in all compartments. They have a very good goalkeeper [Neuer], perhaps the number one today,” he said.

“This is a cohesive team with a great goalscorer [Müller], who is currently scoring at the World Cup.

“But all teams have weaknesses. There is no perfect team.”

While praising Les Bleus’ quarter-final opponents, Matuidi also revealed his admiration for fellow midfielder Paul Pogba, who has impressed for France at the tournament.

"It's so impressive because he is only 21-years-old. See what he can do at his age, what he does every day. He has a great maturity. He is calm, he listens," Matuidi said.

"And it's true that I would have loved to have his talent."