Veteran Bastian Schweinsteiger's experience could be a major boon for Germany.
Veteran Bastian Schweinsteiger's experience could be a major boon for Germany.

EURO 2016 semi-final: Germany vs France - Wednesday, as it happened brings you all the live build-up and match action as world champions Germany take on tournament hosts France in the UEFA EURO 2016 semi-finals.

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All times in CEST

20:45 - That's a wrap

That brings an end to our rolling coverage for today, thanks very much for joining us. We will be back first thing tomorrow morning to bring you more of the build-up ahead of what is sure to be a cracker!

20:35 - Boost for Germany

Speaking in Marseille after landing earlier today, Germany head coach Joachim Löw provided a welcome piece of news, announcing that captain Bastian Schweinsteiger "has recovered from injury and will definitely start the game tomorrow."

- © gettyimages / Hangst

20:00 - Five reasons why Germany will win

World champions, a solid defence, big-game pedigree and the weight of history on their side: there are many reasons why Germany have the wherewithal to get the better of France. Head here for a comprehensive analysis of why they will reach the final.

19:30 - Germany have arrived

The world champs have touched down in Marseille safe and sound...

18:50 - Lizarazu: 'Coman can cause problems'

Former FC Bayern left-back Bixente Lizarazu is eagerly looking forward to Germany's semi-final clash with France tomorrow. The Frenchman was a world and European champion during his playing days with Les Bleus and remains a popular figure in Munich, where he helped the side lift numerous pieces of silverware. He is perfectly placed, therefore, to analyse the situation ahead of tie in Marseille. Head here for our exclusive interview with him.

- © gettyimages / Dean Mouhtaropoulos

18:15 - Local flavour

After one market stall in Frankfurt rose to prominence with its colourful display before Germany's quarter-final against Italy, the owners have got creative once again in the run-up to the semi-final with France too...

18:00 - Safe flight!

The Germany camp are currently airborne as they make their way to the south of France.

17:45 - Pitch prepared

The Stade Velodrome in Marseille is watered and ready for action to commence tomorrow...

17:30 - Opportunity knocks for Reus

Borussia Dortmund superstar Marco Reus suffered injury heartache for the second time in two years, forcing him to miss out on a second successive major tournament with Germany. However, the 27-year-old could soon have something to smile about: he is one of the nominees to be the global cover star for the FIFA 17 game. Head here for more and to find out how you can make your vote count!

17:05 - Final day round-up

Our friends over at the German Football Association (DFB) have put together this rather nice video of how they spent their last day at their base in Evian...


16:52 - Germany en route

The world champions have left their training base, bidding farewell to the hotel staff as they head for Marseille, where they will meet France...

16:40 - Coman's highlight reel

One player who could prove to be a thorn in Germany's side is FC Bayern München winger Kingsley Coman, who had a stunning debut season in the Bundesliga. Check out just what he is capable of in the video below:

16:16 - Who to watch against France

Facing the tournament hosts in a semi-final might be a daunting prospect for most teams, but Germany have already shown they're more than well equipped for the challenge - just ask the Brazil side from the 2014 World Cup.

Will they be able to succeed at the same stage again? We outline five key members of Joachim Löw's side who could be crucial to their hopes of doing so.

15:55 - Germany bromance

15:42 - Hector's remarkable rise

1. FC Köln's Jonas Hector scored the decisive penalty for Germany in their nail-biting quarter-final shootout against Italy - a strike that thrust him into the global spotlight. Find out more about the man who has developed into Die Nationalmannschaft's first-choice left-back here.

- © gettyimages

15:25 - Draxler and Sane relaxed

14:13 - The Unmissable Seven have pored over the new #bundesligaschedule picking out seven show-stopping matches that you must not miss during the Hinrunde.

- © gettyimages / Alexander Hassenstein

13:58 - Happy referee reunion

Italian Nicola Rizzoli was the man in the middle when Mario Götze scored the only goal to beat Argentina and win the World Cup for Germany...he'll be in charge again in Marseille.

13:32 - Schweini on the mend

12:08 - Weigl to start?

- © gettyimages / Jamie Squire

Germany have started their last training session in Evian. Only the injured Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez are not taking part.

11:03 - Meanwhile, in Lyon...

10:47 - Bon voyage

10:25 - Good omen for Germany?

09:38 - Müller to end EURO jinx?

It's hard to believe Thomas Müller has not scored in this tournament after his sizzling form in front of goal for Bayern last season. But is he anxious about the situation? Judge for yourselves...

9:14 - Germany's plans for the day

- © imago

08:00 - Good morning...

We continue our countdown to Germany's EURO semi-final with hosts France. Kick-off in Marseille is on Thursday at 21:00CEST/19:00GMT. Wednesday will see the pre-match press conferences with coaches Joachim Löw and Didier Deschamps, as well as the team captains, Manuel Neuer and Hugo Lloris. Not often you have two goalkeepers leading their nations in the same match.

Tuesday 5 July

18:20 - Bierhoff's final word of warning

We are now going to wrap up today's coverage of our liveblog, but we'll be back with more on Wednesday morning as we build up to each team's final training session and bring you the result of the other semi-final, as Wales take onPortugal.

We will leave the final word today to Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff, a man who knows a thing or two about these types of games - let us not forget he netted the winning goal at Wembley 20 years ago when Germany were last crowned kings of Europe... Good evening one and all!

17:57 - A neutral's favourite

It is not just their brand of football that attracts admirers the world over - it is also the down-to-earth nature of characters such as Müller that has won over a host of supporters to Germany's cause. Honest, quirky and entirely natural in interviews, Müller is not your archetypal footballer, neither on nor off the pitch. Who wouldn't love Bayern's joker in the pack?

17:14 - Müller relaxed

Thomas Müller has banked 783 European championship minutes since making his EURO debut four years ago, but the Bayern star has yet to score on the EURO stage. Is he concerned? Not really. "I'm not fuelled by goals," he explained. "I'm fuelled by my desire for success. Obviously I'd like to have scored, but in South Africa I finished the World Cup as the top scorer. I missed out in the semi-final with a suspension and we went home. I enjoyed Brazil a lot more, but a goal would help as I would not to have to answer questions about me not scoring!"

16:22 - Götze ready and raring

Mario Götze could also benefit from Germany's current personnel problems. The Bayern midfielder started all three group games, but is yet to feature in the knockout rounds. Mario Gomez's tournament-ending hamstring injury could, however, pave the way for his return to the starting line-up in Marseille.

16:03 - Höwedes precaution

FC Schalke 04 defender Benedikt Höwedes, who is widely expected to fill in for suspended centre-back Mats Hummels against France, did not take part in team training this morning. The 28-year-old instead joined Bastian Schweinsteiger in the cardio tent, albeit only as a precaution following an injury-hit domestic campaign.

15:09 - Target practice

Some great ball striking from France's Anthony Martial in training today, but he'll have to do even better than that to get past Manuel 'the Wall' Neuer!

14:57 - "The best goalkeeper in the world"

Only one man France's Moussa Sissoko can be talking about, here. You guessed it, Manuel Neuer. "We'll need to make decisions more quickly and be clinical in front of goal," the 26-year-old midfielder explained. "We know that he plays as a sweeper. He plays high up the pitch and cuts lots of balls out. It's up to us to be aware of that [...] We haven't taken on a team as big as Germany yet. Thursday is a huge game."

- © imago

14:16 - "Our bogey team"

Olivier Giroud says Manuel Neuer "is no insurmountable wall", but the France forward did admit that "Germany are something of our bogey team." Les Bleus' record at major tournaments against Die Mannschaft reads W1, L3.

- © gettyimages / Alexander Hassenstein

13:37 - France's danger man?

France striker Olivier Giroud has put three goals past Manuel Neuer at club level in the UEFA Champions League, but Germany's no.1 is not overly concerned by the threat the Arsenal front man poses:

13:16 - All in the preparation for Neuer

Bayern and Germany stopper Manuel Neuer has conceded just once in five EURO 2016 outings so far in France and plans to keep it that way. The 30-year-old also saved two penalties in the dramatic shootout win over Italy in the last eight.

13:01 - Müller "optimistic"

Thomas Müller has yet to fire at this summer's competition - in fact he has never scored at a European Championships - but the Bayern forward believes his side have enough as a team to overcome free-scoring France:

12:57 - Good vibrations

Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff, who netted the trophy-clinching golden goal when Die Mannschaft last tasted EURO gold back in 1996, has been talking up the harmony in the camp ahead of Thursday's clash:

12:40 - Weigl to start?

With Sami Khedira definitely out and Bastian Schweinsteiger nursing a minor knee injury, Löw has intimated that Borussia Dortmund talent Julian Weigl could have a role to play against Les Bleus. The 20-year-old midfielder has only been capped once before at senior international level and was a surprise inclusion in the squad for the finals, but displayed maturity beyond his years throughout his debut season in the Bundesliga in 2015/16. Get the lowdown on the budding pass master right here.

- © gettyimages / Christof Koepsel