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Austria vs France, UEFA Euro 2024, Today Match Prediction

Merkur Spiel Arena, Dusseldorf

Austria faces an uphill battle against France

  • Austria goes into Euro 2024 with a mix of injury concerns and experienced players in its ranks.
  • Kylian Mbappe has scored 44 goals in 48 appearances in 2024
  • Marko Arnautovic, Austria's all-time leader in appearances (140+), is expected to be the focal point for the team

France to Win (1-3)

Tournament: UEFA Euro 2024 | Venue: Merkur Spiel Arena, Dusseldorf

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France is considered one of the contenders to win Euro 2024 by bookmakers with some now placing them on par, with England as joint-favourites. France is the team to watch this summer. While their squad may not boast as big-name players as England (except for Kylian Mbappe), it is well-rounded and balanced. 

Unlike England, which has a defence, William Saliba, A standout centre-back in the Premier League in 2023/24. He is expected to be a player for France during this summer's tournament. Over the decade or so Les Bleus have shown performance. 

They have made it to the final in three out of the four tournaments. Although they had an exit in the round of 16 at Euro 2020 France proved their quality again by finishing as runners-up at the World Cup 18 months ago. 

Austria Preview

Austria faces a mixed bag of challenges heading into Euro 2024. The team boasts a wealth of experience, with Marko Arnautovic leading the pack as their all-time appearance leader. However, they'll also be contending with several key injuries.

Defensive stalwart David Alaba and midfielders Xaver Schlager and Alexander Schlager will all be absent.  This creates an opportunity for fresh faces to step up, as seen with the inclusion of players like RB Salzburg's Amadou Haidara.

Despite the setbacks, Austria has a strong core to rely on. Arnautovic is expected to be the focal point of the attack, supported by the leadership of RB Leipzig's Marcel Sabitzer, the only player to have ever captained the national team.  Christoph Baumgartner provides a tough presence in central midfield. 

Austria will enter the tournament with their customary 4-2-3-1 formation, likely emphasizing Coach Rangnick's high-pressing style and relentless spirit. While their group, featuring France, Netherlands, and Poland, is undeniably difficult, Austria's determined approach under Rangnick could lead to some surprising results. 

Austria Probable Starting Lineup: Patrick Pentz (Goalkeeper); Stefan Posch, Martin Hinteregger, Philipp Lienhart, Andreas Weimann, Kevin Mwene, Christian Fuchs, Konrad Laimer, Florian Grillitsch, Christoph Baumgartner, Marko Arnautovic

France Preview

France enters Euro 2024 as a favorite, yet uncertainty clouds their backline. While Mbappé's brilliance seems unstoppable and the midfield boasts a mature trio of Kanté, Rabiot, and Griezmann, injuries and Raphaël Varane's decline are worrying signs.

France's strength lies not in individual stars, but in balance. Their midfield dictates tempo, and Griezmann's leadership and creativity are crucial, alongside Mbappé's attacking prowess. Their success isn't an accident - three major tournament finals in four years showcase a winning mentality. However, this strong foundation is threatened by injuries and Varane's inconsistency, compounded by recent underwhelming performances.

The key question: can France overcome these issues and rediscover their harmony? Their potential is undeniable, with Mbappé's artistry, Kanté's tenacity, and Griezmann's experience forming a formidable trio. Yet, a shaky defense could derail their Euro dreams. Reaching the semifinals seems likely, but conquering Europe requires a resolute backline and a return to their winning formula.

Manager Didier Deschamps, a proven winner, will undoubtedly seek replacements for injured players, potentially integrating young talents like William Saliba and even exploring options outside France, like Amadou Haidara from RB Salzburg. 

If Deschamps can find the winning combination and fix the defensive leaks, France is well on its way to becoming a dominant force. They possess the holy grail of success: talent, experience, and hunger. However, addressing these vulnerabilities remains an open question, and they might need time to do so. 

France Probable Starting XI: Mike Maignan (Goalkeeper), Jules Koundé, William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano, Theo Hernandez, N'Golo Kanté, Adrien Rabiot, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé, Marcus Thuram, Ousmane Dembélé 

France boasts far superior talent, especially with Mbappé in peak form. David Alaba's absence in defense is a major obstacle for Austria. Deschamps might shuffle his lineup, giving fringe players a chance. Regardless, the sheer depth of the French squad is staggering.

Austria can still cause an upset, but it hinges on two factors: capitalizing on French mistakes and Arnautovic rediscovering his scoring touch. France will dominate possession and control most of the game, although Austria's defense might hold firm temporarily. While a comfortable French victory is likely, Austria could still snatch a goal on a swift counter-attack. 

France to Win (1-3)


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Author: Neev Chopra