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European Championship | Group Stage
Jun 21, 2024 at 8pm UK
Red Bull Arena
FN

Netherlands
0 - 0
France


Schouten (31')
FT

Preview: Netherlands vs. France - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Netherlands vs. France - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's European Championship clash between Netherlands and France, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

HALF-TIME UPDATE: NETHERLANDS 0-0 FRANCE

Kylian Mbappe may be watching on helplessly from the bench, but the first half of this titanic clash at the Red Bull Arena has not been short of entertainment, albeit entertainment that more or less dried up after the 30th minute.

An immediate chance for Jeremie Frimpong set the tone for a glut of chances at both ends of the field, although Antoine Griezmann was no doubt guilty of the biggest attacking calamity, failing to sort his feet out with most of the goal at his mercy.

Mike Maignan still had some business to take care of at the other end - Cody Gakpo was lively on the left and forced the AC Milan shot-stopper into a good save down low - but the Netherlands have mainly been restricted to counter-attacks in the first 45.

While Oranje's quick attackers have given France something to think about, the final ball has often let Ronald Koeman's side down, while France were susceptible to losing possession far too often in the second quarter of the contest.

It still feels as if something different is needed to truly spark this game back into life - perhaps a Real Madrid-bound 25-year-old - but if Deschamps does bite the bullet and send on Mbappe, Les Bleus may find that clinical edge to seal their last-16 spot.

HALF-TIME PREDICTION: NETHERLANDS 0-1 FRANCE


A battle of the Group D behemoths headlines Friday's Euro 2024 fixtures, as the Netherlands and France pit their wits against one another at the Red Bull Arena for the right to guarantee last-16 progression.

Ronald Koeman's men fought back from a goal down to sink Poland 2-1 in their opening affair, while Les Bleus also scraped a narrow success over Austria, albeit one that was marred by an injury to their star man.


Match preview

The absence of marvellous marksman Robert Lewandowski initially did not harm Poland's chances of claiming a shock scalp over the Netherlands in their Group D opener, as his capable deputy - Adam Buksa - glanced a terrific header into the far corner with just 16 minutes gone.

However, the Netherlands responded in just 13 minutes as Cody Gakpo's deflected effort deceived Wojciech Szczesny, and with a mere seven minutes of normal time remaining, Wout Weghorst wrote his own hero arc with a thumping low finish to complete the Dutch turnaround.

Koeman was more relieved than anything else to see his bold tactical decision pay off - the ex-Barcelona boss admitted that he considered playing Memphis Depay behind Weghorst but ultimately substituted the former for another Manchester United flop, whose winner propelled Oranje to the summit of Group D.

Leading the way over France courtesy of their superior goals scored tally, the Netherlands will guarantee themselves a top-two finish by winning Friday's match, which would also represent their fourth straight victory after 4-0 friendly thrashings of Canada and Iceland in their warm-up fixtures.

Furthermore, when taking penalty shootouts out of the equation, only one of the Netherlands' last 17 games at major tournaments has ended in defeat, although that did come at the delayed Euro 2020 competition, where they were stunned 2-0 by the Czech Republic.

In fact, a 2-1 friendly defeat to Germany in March is the only reverse that Koeman's men have suffered in their last eight battles - underlining their status as a genuine competitor for Euro 2024 glory - but their upcoming opponents certainly had their number in qualifying.

Before being quickly reunited with their Dutch foes in the same finals section, France eased to a 4-0 battering of Oranje at home and also scraped a 2-1 victory in the preliminary section, leaving Didier Deschamps's men with history firmly on their side this week.

As was the case with the Netherlands, Les Bleus' opening success of the tournament - a 1-0 victory over an in-form Austria thanks to Maximilian Wober's own goal - did not come without a strenuous effort, although they could have usurped Oranje into first place had Kylian Mbappe not spurned a glorious one-on-one.

While the Real Madrid new boy could not smash the ball home on that occasion, he sparked serious concern when he smashed his face into the shoulder of Kevin Danso, receiving a broken nose and a yellow card for his troubles; he came back onto the pitch without permission amid a substitution farce.

However, Mbappe's assist for Wober's own goal means that second-placed France will also be through to the last 16 with victory on Friday, and Deschamps's men have found a resilient defensive streak when it matters most, recording three clean sheets on the spin.

Should Les Bleus come up trumps on Friday evening, it would mark just the fourth time that they have won both of their opening Euros contests at a single tournament, having previously done so in 1984, 2000 and 2016, three years where they reached the final.

By doing the double over the Dutch in qualifying, France followed the established pattern between the two nations; they have won seven of their last eight matches against the Netherlands, although Oranje have triumphed in their last two at the Euros finals, including a 4-1 demolition in the 2008 group phase.

Netherlands European Championship form:


Netherlands form (all competitions):


France European Championship form:


France form (all competitions):



Team News

No injury concerns arose for the Netherlands during their hard-fought win over Poland, and as Brian Brobbey - absent from that victory with a hamstring problem - is now training with the team again, Koeman should have every man available to him.

The only minor quandary for the Oranje boss might come in midfield, as Joey Veerman's yellow card on Sunday means that he will incur a one-game ban if he is booked here as well, but Koeman should not take such hypotheticals into account for a match of this magnitude.

The Netherlands coach has not completely closed the door on Weghorst's chances of starting after his late heroics over the weekend, but Depay - five shy of equalling Robin van Persie's record 50 goals for the men's team - should continue to hold off his colleague for the time being.

Koeman understandably refused to give anything away in his pre-match press conference over Weghorst's potential introduction, although Donyell Malen and Jeremie Frimpong have been named as potential starters by local media.

Speaking of attacking predicaments, Bleus fans have been anxiously awaiting news on Mbappe, who was left sporting a bloody nose and shirt after the Danso incident, but the ex-Paris Saint-Germain attacker could still feature in the latter stages of the tournament with a mask.

Mbappe has now been spotted in training donning his protective gear - which is adorned with the colours of the French flag and their emblem - and Deschamps has refused to rule out the prospect of the 25-year-old making a surprise appearance.

However, French media have reported that Mbappe will have to sit out Friday's crunch clash, and Deschamps is expected to call upon record goalscorer Olivier Giroud to fill the void; the 37-year-old has been dealing with some groin pain, but nothing that should impact his availability.

Eduardo Camavinga (ankle) and his Real Madrid teammate Aurelien Tchouameni (foot) are also expected to be given the green light to play, but neither should displace N'Golo Kante, who rolled back the years against Austria with an industrious midfield performance.


Netherlands possible starting lineup:
Verbruggen; Dumfries, De Vrij, Van Dijk, Ake; Schouten, Veerman; Simons, Reijnders, Gakpo; Depay

France possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Kounde, Saliba, Upamecano, Hernandez; Kante, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Thuram; Giroud


We say: Netherlands 0-0 France

As Mbappe's lightning burst of pace was critical to France picking the Austrian lock, his potential absence robs Les Bleus of their X-factor for Friday's tie of the titans, where defences could come out on top.

The Netherlands may have been in free-scoring mode for most of the past year, but Deschamps's defence are one of the toughest nuts to crack right now, and this blockbuster may very well end without the net bulging once.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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