EURO 2024

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

EURO 2024 PREVIEW Mon: Austria v France

France begin their EURO 2024 campaign on Monday when they take on Austria, tipped by many as this tournament’s ‘dark horses’, writes JOE CITRONE.

Labelling a team as ‘dark horses’ has been the kiss of death at recent major tournaments – I haven’t yet gotten over Turkey at EURO 2020! – but many see Austria as one of the sides that could be a surprise package at this tournament.

They will be without star man David Alaba – who sadly is missing this tournament with an ACL injury – but still have other threats that France will need to be wary of on Monday.

Austria have also looked rejuvenated and been playing some nice football since the arrival of Ralf Rangnick as coach, who English football fans will obviously be familiar with from his spell as Manchester United interim manager.

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Austria v France
UEFA EURO 2024 Group D
20:00 ITV1 / STV / ITVX / STV Player

LAST FIVE STATS

HEAD-TO-HEAD
SEP 2022 NATIONS LEAGUE France 2-0 Austria
JUN 2022 NATIONS LEAGUE Austria 1-1 France
OCT 2009 WORLD CUP France 3-1 Austria
SEP 2008 WORLD CUP Austria 3-1 France
MAR 2007 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY France 1-0 Austria

AUSTRIA
JUN 2024 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Switzerland 1-1 Austria
JUN 2024 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Austria 2-1 Serbia
MAR 2024 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Austria 6-1 Turkey
MAR 2024 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Slovakia 0-2 Austria
NOV 2023 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP Estonia 0-2 Austria

FRANCE
JUN 2024 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY France 0-0 Canada
JUN 2024 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY France 3-0 Luxembourg
MAR 2024 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY France 3-2 Chile
MAR 2024 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY France 0-2 Germany
NOV 2023 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP Greece 2-2 France

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After the disappointment of falling at the final hurdle at the 2022 World Cup, France will be desperate to make a statement at this tournament and win their first European Championship in over 20 years.

When dissecting their squad, there is really no area where they look weak with exceptional strength in defence, midfield and attack.

Kylian Mbappe, though, who is finally set to join Real Madrid this summer, will be France’s main man and especially motivated to put the last European Championship behind him after he missed the crucial penalty against Switzerland in the shoot-out that saw Les Bleus exit at the round-of-16 stage.

Elsewhere, Kingsley Coman should be okay to feature after a bout of illness kept him away from training earlier in the week, but Adrien Rabiot is expected to start in midfield with Aurelien Tchouameni still recovering from the knock that kept him out of the Champions League final.

Austria are not to be underestimated here, but it will be hard for them to avoid an early set-back against a very strong-looking France side on Monday evening. Rangnick’s side are in good goalscoring form, and I fancy them to get on the scoresheet, but I do expect France to emerge the victors here.


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PROFIT/LOSS (EURO 2024): -7.68 POINTS


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