France and Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann believes Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will be key to Germany's chances of defending their FIFA World Cup crown.

The Bayern No.1 missed the majority of the 2017/18 season through injury, but will captain the defending champions at the finals.

"He was exceptional at the 2014 World Cup and is Germany's key man," Griezmann told Spox. "He's also a leader and is very important for the inner workings of the team."

Watch: Manuel Neuer's top 5 saves

Griezmann also gave his thoughts on Germany’s overall prospects.

"Once again, Germany have a strong team," the 27-year-old warned. "They'll almost certainly go as far as the semi-finals, from there it's the small details that determine whether you progress. They're certainly among the favourites."

France, whose squad also includes VfB Stuttgart defender Benjamin Pavard and Bayern midfielder Corentin Tolisso, have been drawn in Group C alongside Australia, Peru and Denmark.

Les Bleus lost 1-0 to Germany in the quarter-finals in Brazil four years ago, but took their revenge in the last four of UEFA EURO 2016.

The two countries cannot meet until the semi-final stage in Russia.

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