Euro 2016: Bastian Schweinsteiger to lead Germany against France - Joachim Low

Germany v France
Date: Thursday, 7 July Venue: Stade Velodrome, Marseille Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC One, Radio 5 Live, the BBC Sport website and app. Live text commentary on every game on the BBC Sport website

Bastian Schweinsteiger will captain Germany for their Euro 2016 semi-final against France on Thursday, coach Joachim Low has said.

The Manchester United midfielder, 31, was doubtful for the game in Marseille with a knee injury.

"I have the team in my head and Bastian Schweinsteiger will definitely start," Low, 56, said.

"I said if he trains 100% without complaints then he'll play. He trained this morning and had no complaints."

He added: "The injury is cured and he showed against Italy he's got the strength to play from the start, and I believe he's very, very important, particularly in such a game - his experience is very valuable.

"We have three players - Mario Gomez, Sami Khedira and Mats Hummels - whom we have to replace, which is not easy, and this is why it is important that an experienced player like Bastian starts."

The world champions are missing Khedira and Gomez through injury, while defender Hummels serves a one-match suspension for picking up two bookings.

Despite Germany not having lost to France in a competitive match since 1958, Low says his side are not favourites against the tournament hosts.

"We're not playing against a team, we're playing against an entire country, so I wouldn't say we're favourites," Low said.

"Both teams have good quality and who shows this and makes fewer mistakes and takes their chances will win.

"We're going to be the toughest opponents France have had to face so far here. We're going to put everything into reaching the final."

France 'have to believe'

France coach Didier Deschamps has told his side they "have to believe" they are capable of ending their long wait for a competitive win over Germany.

"We can't change past history, but we've got our own page to write. We're facing the best team in the world, but the lads have to believe," he said.

Since their last victory over Germany, France have suffered three World Cup defeats by the four-time winners, including a 1-0 loss in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals.

Deschamps, who won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship with France as a player, says his side cannot afford to only look to play on the counter-attack.

Low's side have conceded only once in their five matches at Euro 2016 so far.

"We need to score goals. This is a team that doesn't concede a lot of goals," Deschamps, 47, said.

"Germany take command of their games and they dominate possession but we can't go into this match thinking we're going to defend then hit on the counter-attack.

"With all the respect we have for Germany, we have a great chance and we're going to take it with both hands."

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