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Euro-2024: France enters the scene against Austria, Mbappé “against the extremes”

France launches its Euro-2024 against Austria with the status of favorite that it is accustomed to while being wary of an “under-performing” team ;valued", skilled at dry cleaning, Monday (9:00 p.m.) & Düsseldorf.

Beyond the sporting issue, Kylian Mbappé also took a position on the early legislative elections (June 30-July 7), “a crucial moment in the history of our country”.

The captain called on “young people to go and vote” because “the extremes are at the gates of power, we have the opportunity to choose the future of our country”.

He defended his teammate Marcus Thuram who “did not go too far” by explaining on Saturday that it was necessary to “fight so that the RN does not pass”.

“I hope that we will still be proud to wear this jersey on July 7”, added Mbappé.

To go this far, we have to start well against Austria on Monday. But the Blues systematically won their first major tournament match in the twelve years that Didier Deschamps has been coach.

Finalists in three of the last four major competitions (World Cups 2018 and 2022, Euro-2016), they are considered favourites, equal to Germany at home or England.

But their armour has been scratched by their last results in friendlies, two defeats against Germany in September 2023 (2-1) and last March (2-0) or a sluggish draw against Canada (0-0), on June 9.

“It's a wake-up call. Now, we're ready,” assures Benjamin Pavard.

“The status of favourite, it goes in one ear and out the other,” Ousmane Dembélé brushes aside. “The truth is on the pitch. You can come across an Austrian team that makes life difficult for you and you lose the match.”

– “Minor adjustments” –

“This status must not torment us, it must give us confidence,” adds Olivier Giroud.

The last friendlies “were not successful, clearly, we should not be satisfied with this kind of match, but we are aware of it. The most important thing is to correct these little things for the first match, minimal, minor adjustments , it's not worrying at all”, adds the top scorer of the selection (57 goals).

Euro-2024: France enters the scene against Austria, Mbappé “against the extremes”

Frenchman Adrien Rabiot in training, June 13, 2024 in Paderborn (Germany) © AFP – FRANCK FIFE

He is not “worried at all” about Kylian Mbappé either. The main asset of the Blues, the one around whom the team is designed, skipped a total of four collective training sessions during preparation.

Since the unveiling of his list of 25 players, Didier Deschamps claims to have his starting lineup for Austria in mind, but he obviously has to adapt to the form from each other.

The coach should not field Aurélien Tchouameni, who has returned to training but seems too tight to start.

If Adrien Rabiot, who has not played since May 20, is not sufficiently recovered, Youssouf Fofana could start in midfield alongside N'Golo Kanté.

– “Get out of this pincer” –

In the central hinge, the place alongside Dayot Upamecano is played out between William Saliba and Ibrahima Konaté.

On the sides, “DD” could continue the asymmetrical system worked in the two matches in June, against Luxembourg (3-0) and Canada: with three defenders in the possession phase, for take advantage of Théo Hernandez's counter-attacking talent on the left side.

When he loses the ball, the AC Milan player must re-enter the line of four, helped by coverage by his teammates in his zone, Marcus Thuram, Rabiot or Fofana, and Upamecano.

“We prepared more tactics, not just this one”, nuance Théo Hernandez, while recognizing: “We know that I like to attack, I like the offensive phase…”

Euro-2024: France enters the scene against Austria, Mbappé “against the extremes”

Marcus Thuram in training on June 13 in Paderborn © AFP – FRANCK FIFE

Pavard “finds that it's a very good tactic. We master it well, we can do a little better.”

Deschamps wishes be “less predictable” for Austria, an “undervalued” team, he has repeated for a long time, and of which we must fear the famous “gegenpressing”, the intense counter-pressing of which the Austrian coach Ralf Rangnick is a adept.

“We will have to get out of this pincer”, warns Thuram, who wants to block the RN.

On the ground, it is Austria that must be stopped. They have not lost in seven matches, won 6-1 against Turkey and beat Germany 2-0.

France faces them for the third time in a major tournament, after a round of 16 of the 1934 World Cup lost in overtime (3-2 ap.) against the “Wunderteam” of the legendary Matthias Sindelar, and a victory at the 1982 World Cup by the Platini gang (1-0 ).

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116