France vs Austria. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats and more￼
Will the World Champions be able to beat Ralf Rangnick’s side at home and push back from the bottom of the table? Parimatchnews will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.
France News & Current Form:
Didier Deschamps’ side have achieved many honours in the last five years, including winning the 2018 World Cup. They also won the previous Nations League, beating Belgium 3-2 and Spain 2-1 in the play-offs. After successfully qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, the French have seen their tournament tone dwindle.
There has been virtually no change in the Tri-Colours’ line-up since last year’s victorious Nations League campaign, but the results have plummeted drastically. In the Nations League, particularly in a group with Croatia, Austria and Denmark, the French were expected to confidently advance to the final round, however Deschamps’ men have flopped in four June matches. Two defeats, two draws and just three goals – the reigning world champions came into September’s games with poor baggage.
Of course, the Nations League is a far less important tournament than the World Cup or UEFA EURO, and a poor showing in that competition cannot be called a tragedy, but finishing last in the group is too much for France. The reigning World Cup champions are the best team in the world at the moment (although they are only in fourth place in the FIFA rankings), and a relegation to Ligue B might well be enough of a shame for France. They need to pull themselves together and turn the tide.
It is already certain that the French will not be able to take the top spot in the table (they are seven points behind Denmark with two rounds to go), but they have a lot to fight for. Now they appear to be on the very bottom, and if they show an unsatisfactory display further on – the fight for the trophy for a year can be well forgotten- a disgusting prospect for the squad of such a caliber. Obviously, they can’t afford that, so they’ll be fighting hard against Austria to ensure three points and the chance to edge their rivals in the table.
Of course, for the next two games, Deschamps has called upon the best. France’s squad is impressive as ever, but the quiet preparation for the games has been disrupted by Kylian Mbappe as usual of late. The Paris Saint-Germain forward flared up at a team photo shoot and refused to take part due to a disagreement with the federation over image rights. As a result, the FFF agreed to renegotiate the terms and seemingly hushed up the scandal, but the mere fact of having toxic people in the squad hardly adds to Deschamps’ and fans’ joy before crucial meetings.
As for the tactical pattern with which Les Bleus will approach the WC, Didier Deschamps is varying the 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-1-2 schemes. The French team in the Nations League have an average possession of 57.8% and spend 35% of their playing time near the opponents’ box. The players take 14.5 shots on average, of which 5.5 are on target. Only three goals have been scored in four matches. By comparison, in qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar, with similar levels of attacking activity, the Blues were three times more productive, averaging 2.25 goals per game (against 0.75 goals in the Nations League).
What really clouds the chances is that the French will be without Hugo Lloris, Presnel Kimpembe, Ibrahima Konate, Theo Hernandez, Adrien Rabiot, Luca Ding, Lucas Hernandez, Boubacar Kamara, N’Golo Kante, Kingsley Koman, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Karim Benzema for the forthcoming match. The French team have a solid squad, and Didier Deschamps can easily form a capable squad.
Austria News & Current Form:
Austria are not doing much better. Unsere Burschen have had mixed results of late. They finished just fourth in FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying, but qualified for the play-offs on the back of a strong showing in the previous Nations League. In the end, after losing the right to travel to Qatar to the Welsh national team in the semi-final, the coaching staff was reshuffled. Ralf Rangnick stepped in to replace Franco Foda.
The first test for the specialist came in the matches of the new Nations League campaign, and things are not going so smoothly in the current draw amidst a more competitive environment. The Red and Whites started their venture with a sensational 3-0 thrashing of Croatia, but have since scored just one point in three games as they drew at home to France.
The former Manchester United coach began to improve the reliability of the defensive game by gradually shifting to a 4-4-2 formation. However, there have been no major shifts so far. The Austrians have conceded five goals in their last three games.
Austria hold the initiative only 42.9% of the game time and spend 31% of the match in defence and 46% in midfield. The players are effective in the defensive block, making 17.8 tackles and 9.8 interceptions (the best and median results in Liga A respectively). The men in the woodwork is the one who let the squad down. Heinz Lindner and Patrick Penz have only saved 78.26% of their shots on goal, which is a bad indicator, obviously. Things are not so bad on the offensive end. Ralf Rangnick’s charges are taking 11.3 shots average (including 3.8 on target) and have already scored five goals.
Valentino Lazzaro, Florian Grillitsch, Stefan Ilsanker, Sasa Kalajdzic and Konrad Laimer are out of action. The latter two are essential players in the starting line-up. The losses are significant, with the left wing being weakened while it accounts for 32% of the team’s attacks.
France form guide (all competitions): W-W-L-D-D-L
Austria form guide (all competitions): L-D-W-L-D-L
France vs Austria Head-To-Head Record:
The teams’ tourney paths have intertwined three times. In the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, they exchanged home victories. While in the first round of the current Nations League, they settled for a 1-1 draw.
France vs Austria Predicted XI:
France possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Maignan; Pavard, Kounde, Varane, Mendy; Guendouzi, Tchouameni, Camavinga; Griezmann; Mbappe, Giroud.
Austria possible starting lineup (3-5-2): Lindner; Lainer, Trauner, Lienhart, Alaba; Sabitzer, Schlager, Siewald; Baumgartner; Arnautovic, Gregoritsch.
Statistical preview of the match France vs Austria:
- France are still winless in the Nations League (2 draws, 2 defeats).
- Austria have won 5 of their last 6 away matches in the Nations League (one defeat).
- France has scored more than 1.5 goals in nine of their last 15 matches.
- 11 of Austria’s last 15 matches have ended with a total less than 3.5 goals.
- France have not lost in four of their last five head-to-head encounters against Austria.
What has been said before the match:
Didier Deschamps, the France national team gaffer:
“Football is a contact sport, there can be injuries due to physical contact. Like other players of other nationalities, the succession of matches with a lot of intensity puts more strain on the body and there are greater risks. Everything is shortened. Obviously, we are affected more than usual, but the number of injuries in recent years has been increasing. I hope that in two months’ time the situation will be much better for all the players.”
“We have injuries, the other teams too, we may be a little more affected right now, but my approach is always the same. I want to put the players, individually, in the best conditions to put the opponent in difficulty”said Deschamps in front of the press.
“For me, it is always an honor and a pride. I have my responsibility. The players arrived on Monday at noon, and the beginning of the camp went very well. It’s not the calmest atmosphere that I have known, it is what it is. But it is not unsettling for me. My staff and I are focused on what is happening on the pitch. I am cut off from the outside world. What interests me is what I have to do with my players.”
Didier is puzzled by the number of injuries in his ranks
Ralf Rangnick, the Austrian national team gaffer:
“We played very dominantly in the previous three games and controlled everything with only a few exceptions. That will be the main thing on Thursday as well. It is important that we are as proactive and courageous as we were in the opening matches.”
“Mbappe is fit and in excellent form and he’s the only one they couldn’t replace equally. All the other players could be replaced in one way or another. Along with Spain, they have an unbelievable density and breadth of top talent like no other country.”
“With Konrad Laimer, we are missing a player whom we cannot compensate in full. In addition, the absence of Sasa Kalajdzic, who is suffering from a cruciate ligament rupture, and Kevin Danso, who was suspended against France, is painful. Andreas Ulmer had to miss the trip to Paris at short notice due to a stomach bug.”
“Basically, we want to be in a position to play different formations with a view to the European Championship qualifiers. It has to be on the agenda that we can play a three or five-man defence. At the moment, we will field the best eleven from our point of view and will not be experimenting. All these games that already give us a bit of an indication for the European Championship qualifiers. We see them as important games to get points and stay in the top league, but also to prepare ourselves in the best possible way for the European Championship qualifiers next year. We would like to compete with the best in two years’ time as well, but what counts in the end are European Championships and World Cups”
Ralph gives instructions to the players during the pre-match training session
France vs Austria Prediction:
In all the matches this qualifying season, the French have been negligent in their defensive play and have been conceding to all their opponents. Obviously, the attitude will be changed now, but that does not mean that the players’ chemistry will suddenly improve because of it. Moreover, they haven’t played with each other for three months. In addition, Didier Deschamps cannot count on a group of players in the starting line-up, but Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and others remain in the ranks. And the aforementioned players are in decent form.
Austria, for their part, have been on the decline in recent matches on the back of poor play by their goalkeepers and defence. But now Ragnik’s charges are taking advantage of the buzz around their opponents and are quietly preparing for another match; they have become more confident. Plus, there are high expectations for Marko Arnautovic, who with six goals in seven meetings leads the Italian league scorer’s race. Nevertheless, Les Bleus, with the support of the home crowd, should be able to realise their full attacking potential and claim important 3 points. The World Cup is right around the corner, it is time to show the best display.
Parimatch News staff prediction: