France will take on the Netherlands at Stade De France in a UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday, looking to get back to winning ways after the World Cup final defeat at the hands of Argentina.
Prior to the loss against Argentina, France managed to win five of their previous six matches and they will be confident of trying out a home win vs the Netherlands.
Kylian Mbappe has recently been named as the captain of the French national team. And the Paris Saint-Germain superstar will be looking to begin his captaincy on a winning note.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands were eliminated from the World Cup by eventual champions Argentina. Prior to that, they were on an impressive run, with the last defeat coming in June 2021. That result spelt the end of Louis van Gaal’s latest spell as the Oranje boss.
France have an impressive head-to-head record against the Netherlands despite losing the last meeting between these two sides. It remains to be seen who comes out on top here. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.
📣 𝐎𝐮𝐫 𝟐𝟑-𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐬𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐝!
— French Team ⭐⭐ (@FrenchTeam) March 16, 2023
Team News & Tactics
Didier Deschamps will be without the services of William Saliba and Wesley Fofana here. While the Chelsea defender has withdrawn with a hamstring injury, Saliba misses out after picking up a back injury in a UEFA Europa League game with Arsenal.
Mike Maignan has been named as the first-choice goalkeeper for France, and he is set to start here. Jules Kounde and Theo Hernandez will start as the full-backs here.
Dayot Upamecano will partner with Ibrahima Konate at the heart of the French defence. Aurelien Tchouameni will start alongside Adrien Rabiot in the midfield pivot. And the two players will look to dictate the tempo of the game and provide defensive cover to the side.
Kingsley Coman will start on the right side, with Kylian Mbappe deployed on the left flank. The two players will look to add flair, creativity and pace to the French attack. Finally, Olivier Giroud is set to lead the line for the home side, with Antoine Griezmann in the hole behind him.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Kounde, Upamecano, Konate, Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Coman, Griezmann, Mbappe, Giroud
Ronald Koeman will be without a number of first-team players for this game. Frenkie de Jong had to withdraw with an injury earlier this week, while Denzel Dumfries is ruled out through suspension.
The likes of Cody Gakpo, Sven Botman, Matthijs De Light, Bart Verbruggen and Joey Veerman have been ruled out with a virus. And they have been replaced with Ryan Gravenberch, Stefan de Vrij and Kjell Scherpen.
The Netherlands are likely to start in a 4-3-3 formation, with Jasper Cillessen in goal. Steven Berghuis and Nathan Ake will be deployed as the full-backs here, with de Vrij partnering with Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the defence.
In the middle of the park, Lutsharel Geertruida will partner with Georginio Wijnaldum and Marten de Roon. The three players will look to dominate the midfield contest and outnumber the French pivot.
While De Roon will look to sit deep and protect the back four, the likes of Wijnaldum and Geertruida will look to add creativity and drive to the side. Wout Weghorst is set to lead the line, with Donyell Malen and Memphis Depay on either side of him.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Cillessen; Berghuis, de Vrij, van Dijk, Ake; Geertruida, de Roon, Wijnaldum; Malen, Weghorst, Depay
- France are unbeaten in their last five home matches played at the Stade De France.
- When playing at home, France are unbeaten against the Netherlands in their last three matches.
- The Netherlands are unbeaten in the last nine international away fixtures.
- Didier Deschamps will take charge of his 140th game as France manager – already a national team record.
- In his first spell between February 2018 and August 2020, Ronald Koeman oversaw 11 wins in 20 matches (D5 L4).
Player to Watch
Kylian Mbappe is officially France's new captain 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/Tede8CEygN
— GOAL (@goal) March 21, 2023
The 24-year-old has been in impressive form this season, scoring 41 goals across all competitions for club and country. He managed to score eight goals at the 2022 FIFA World Cup as well, including a hat-trick in the final.
Mbappe has 11 goals in his last 10 appearances, and he has the quality to trouble the Netherlands’ defence with his pace and movement. The French captain is our man to watch out for.
France 2-1 Netherlands
The Netherlands are without a number of players due to injuries and a viral infection. On the other hand, France will be able to field a strong lineup in the Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday. On paper, France are undoubtedly the better team and should be able to grind out a victory at home.
The Netherlands are going through a bit of a transition under a new manager and they are likely to fall short here. The Hard Tackle predicts a narrow 2-1 win for the World Cup runners-up.