France have surprised many by emerging as World Cup contenders but face their toughest test yet against nemesis Germany in a quarter-final clash of European heavyweights at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium.

France have scored 10 goals in four matches in Brazil and have already gone a long way to restoring some pride after their hapless first round exit in 2010.

Head to head
  • This is the 26th meeting between the sides. France have won 11 times, Germany eight and there have been six draws.

They have only excruciating memories of their last two World Cup battles against Germany, losing a nerve-racking semi-final in 1982 in Spain. Four years later it was again the Germans who killed off their world Cup dreams with a 2-0 victory in Mexico.

Germany have come close in the past two tournaments, reaching the last four but stumbled at the penultimate hurdle.

After a laboured extra time 2-1 win over Algeria in the round of 16, the Germans are facing mounting pressure from their fans, desperate to see an end of their title drought.

A question mark hangs over Loew's shaky defence 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 attack.

Venue: Estádio Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro

Kick-off: July 04, 1700GMT

Most recent meeting: Germany came from behind to beat France 2-1 in Paris after goals from Thomas Muller and Sami Khedira.

Source: Reuters