File - France's players celebrate after their teammate Paul Pogba (2nd L) scored a goal against Nigeria during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
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France have surprised many by emerging as World Cup contenders but face their toughest test yet against nemeses Germany in a quarterfinal clash of European heavyweights at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium Friday.For France coach Didier Deschamps, the previous heart-rending World Cup semifinal defeats to the Germans in 1982 and 1986 do not matter at all. Four years later it was again the Germans who killed off their world Cup dreams, this time with a 2-0 victory in Mexico.For Germany, it has been 24 years since their third and most recent World Cup crown.A question mark hangs over Loew's shaky defense and how it will react to its biggest test so far in the tournament, with France's Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann posing a far bigger threat than the Desert foxes' attacking efforts.
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