France vs Netherlands: Preview and Prediction

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France kicked off the Euros with a victory against Austria

One of the most anticipated clashes from the group stage of the Euro 2024 will take place when France takes on the Netherlands in Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena on Saturday at 12:30 am IST.

It’s not only the clash between two great footballing nations but also the battle between the only two managers in the tournament who have won the Euros previously as players. Didier Deschamps, France’s captain during the Euro 2000, would be looking to win the competition he lost in 2016 as a manager.

Deschamps’ team kickstarted the Euros with a hard-fought win against Austria on Monday, but it came at the cost of freak injuries to Antoine Griezmann and mainly, the captain, Kylian Mbappe.

But despite Deschamps’ injury woes, Ronald Koeman will not take anything for granted. The Dutch manager might be relaxed after his side’s late victory against Poland, but he knows that the French squad is stacked with talent in every department.

Current Form

In 2024, France won 3 out of their last 5 games including a victory against Ralf Rangnick’s Austria in their opening game at the Euros courtesy of an own goal.

Les Blues also entered the competition after an unbeaten qualifying campaign. Out of 8 qualifiers, the French won 7 while scoring a whopping 29 goals and conceding just 3, and one of the teams that they defeated home and away was the Netherlands.

The Dutch started 2024 on a high note with 4 wins out of 5 and have started the Euro 2024 with a cracking victory against Poland. 

The Netherlands also had a productive qualifying campaign, finishing their group second only to France. But while Koeman’s team is blowing the lesser teams away, their struggle against top teams has been evident for some time as they hope to avoid their third successive defeat against Deschamps’ team.

Head to Head Record

The two teams’ clash at the upcoming Euros will be their 31st since 1908 with France edging their Oranje opponents. In the previous 30 games, Les Blues won 16 games with the Netherlands winning 11.

However, the Netherlands has an edge over France where things matter. In the European Championship history, both teams have faced each other twice, in 2000 and 2008 editions, and the Netherlands won both the games.

Team News

Kylian Mbappe’s freakish nose injury against Austria might keep him out of the next game

Just when things looked hunky-dory for France, two of their important players suffered injuries in their opening Euro game against Austria.

Mbappe broke his nose in the final minutes of the game after colliding with Kevin Danso of Austria. Even though the injury doesn’t require immediate surgery, the timescale for its recovery is not known for now, and there is a possibility of the new Real Madrid forward missing out the next game.

While talking about Mbappe, Deschamps said,

“He’s got a really bad nose. We’ll have to wait and see, the medical staff are dealing with it. We’ll have to see what’s going to be done and then how long it will take. It’s very bad news for us tonight. Obviously, the French team with or without him, this is not the same thing. I hope he can be there.”

Griezmann also suffered a gash to his head after getting smacked on the advertising holding. But despite the injury, the resolute Atletico Madrid forward carried on and was a constant threat to Austria’s defense.

One of the positives for the French team was the return of N’Golo Kante who put in a stellar performance despite playing his first competitive game for Les Blues in two years and is certain to start against the Netherlands.

On the other hand, even though Koeman’s side has been playing without two of its important midfielders, Frankie De Jong and Teun Koopmeiners, their team composition looks settled now.

Predicted Starting XIs

France (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Jules Kounde, Dayot Upamecano, William Saliba, Theo Hernandez; N’Golo Kante, Adrien Rabiot; Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Marcus Thuram; Olivier Giroud

Netharlands (4-2-3-1): Bart Verbruggen; Denzel Dumfries, Stefan de Vrij, Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Ake; Jerdy Schouten, Joey Veerman; Xavi Simons, Tijjani Reijnders, Cody Gakpo; Memphis Depay


It will be a tricky game for Deschamps as France is not used to playing without the ever-present Mbappe and might need time to adjust to the new normal. The French should dominate the game nonetheless but the in-form Netherlands, high on confidence, might just pull off a draw or scrape a win in Matchday 2’s most high-profile fixture.