France coach Didier Deschamps has urged the hosts to write a new chapter in their football history by beating Germany in Thursday night’s Euro 2016 semi-final in Marseille.
Les Bleus have not won a competitive fixture against Germany for 58 years and lost to them in the quarter-finals of the last World Cup, which Joachim Low’s team went on to win.
Deschamps bills his side as underdogs against the team he rates as the best in the tournament, but the man who captained France to World Cup glory on home soil in 1998 believes they can cause an upset.
"Nobody can change history, but we have a new page to write," Deschamps said. “It’s a blank page today, but they can fill it. I think the players believe and the people too. We know who the opposition are. They are still the best side in the world, but we’re really going to give it everything.”
Germany have conceded just once in their five Euro 2016 games so far, but are without injured midfielders Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger as well as forward Mario Gomez.
France, who have Leicester midfielder N’Golo Kante and defender Adil Rami available again, were the tournament’s leading scorers going into the last four and Deschamps has vowed to go on the attack.
“I don’t want to play this game thinking of just defending,” he added. “We have offensive strength to score and create chances with players of different profiles and we can put our opponent in danger.”