France vs Netherlands LIVE! Match stream, latest team news, line-ups, TV, Euro 2024 qualifying predictions
A blockbuster heavyweight showdown in Paris headlines the first round of Euro 2024 qualifying. France return to action at home tonight for the first time since their heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat in the Euro 2024 final. World Cup against Argentina in Qatar three months ago. With a host of experienced stars having since retired, Blues captain Kylian Mbappe was selected ahead of Antoine Griezmann.
It’s a tough first assignment for France, who handed coach Didier Deschamps a contract extension in January, on the road to Germany next summer, with the Netherlands also set to compete for top spot. of a group B also containing the Republic of Ireland, Greece and Gibraltar. The Dutch were also beaten by Argentina at the World Cup and now have Ronald Koeman back in charge following the retirement of Louis van Gaal.
Koeman’s preparations for that opener have been less than ideal, with his side hit by a virus this week, leading to young trio Lutsharel Geertruida, Kenneth Taylor and Xavi Simons making their first starts. Randal Kolo Muani is preferred to Olivier Giroud by Deschamps, meanwhile. Follow France against the Netherlands in the Euro 2024 qualifiers live below!
World Cup changes
By the way, that makes four changes in total for the France squad who last appeared in the World Cup final in Qatar three months ago.
Retired Hugo Lloris and Raphael Varane make way for Mike Maignan and Ibrahima Konate, while the injured Ousmane Dembele is replaced by Kingsley Coman. Randal Kolo Muani is above Olivier Giroud, as we said.
It was six changes from the Dutch who also lost to eventual champions Argentina on penalties after a thriller, but in the round of 16.
Only Jurrien Timber, captain Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Ake and Memphis Depay retain their starting places.
Andries Noppert, Denzel Dumfries, Frenkie de Jong, Cody Gakpo and Steven Bergwijn are all unavailable, while Daley Blind is on the bench as he hopes to reach a century of international caps tonight.
Jasper Cillessen, Lutsharel Geertruida, Kenneth Taylor, Georginio Wijnaldum, Steven Berghuis and Xavi Simons all enter.
Expect a lot of noise from those Dutch fans tonight.
French supporters are already in good shape in Paris, with a number of Dutch supporters in orange also making the trip.
According to Opta Sports, tonight is the first match in which the Netherlands have fielded three starters since a 2-1 away win against Kazakhstan in a Euro 2016 qualifier in October 2015.
And what a time to do so, away against mighty France in Paris. No pressure guys…
First starts for the young Dutch trio
An interesting first selection of his second Oranje reign by Ronald Koeman, despite the glut of absences.
Jasper Cillessen beats Mark Flekken to start in goal without Andries Noppert, while Feyenoord’s Lutsharel Geertruida makes his senior international debut in defence.
They’ve signed him up at centre-back alongside Virgil van Dijk with Jurrien Timber on the right of a back four, but surely that’s the wrong way?
Fully fit Georginio Wijnaldum is back in midfield after missing out on the World Cup, joined by Maarten de Roon and 20-year-old Ajax starlet Kenneth Taylor, who won just his fourth senior cap without Frenkie de Jong or Joey Veerman.
Manchester United’s Wout Weghorst is just a substitute as Memphis Depay is joined in attack by Steven Berghuis and PSV youngster Xavi Simons, who gets only his second cap.
First starts for all Geertruida, Taylor and Simons – talk about a baptism of fire! Especially for Geertruida, who is likely to face Mbappe.
Composition of the Netherlands
The Dutch team is also absent…
Starting XI: Cillessen, Timber, Geertruida, Van Dijk, Ake, De Roon, Taylor, Wijnaldum, Berghuis, Simons, Depay
Deschamps prefers Kolo Muani to Giroud
The composition of France therefore corresponds roughly to what we expected, with the exception of Randal Kolo Muani who took over from Olivier Giroud in the lead.
The Eintracht Frankfurt striker made a strong impression at the World Cup and was instrumental in the Blues’ second-half comeback from the bench in the final.
France set up their line-up in 4-3-3, with Griezmann joining Tchouameni and Rabiot in a midfield trio.
The French team is…
Starting XI: Maignan, Koundé, Konaté, Upamecano, Hernandez, Tchouameni, Rabiot, Griezmann, Coman, Mbappé, Kolo Muani
Mbappe promises to be ‘unifier’ as France captain
Those expecting to see a marked change in Mbappe’s approach to media duties following his appointment as skipper will likely be disappointed as he has promised to take a different approach to Lloris.
The 24-year-old has also pledged to ‘unify’ old and new French generations as they chart paths to new success after this Qatar heartbreak.
“I’m not going to change,” he said. “Everyone is a captain based on their personality. I’m going to be a different captain. I don’t think the coach made me captain thinking I was going to do the same as Hugo.
“I know my words make noise. People are going to see me a little more often but I want to leave room for others so I don’t have to monopolize the media space.
“Beyond the responsibilities, it is above all a great pleasure. When the coach asks you if you want to become captain, your mouth immediately says yes. I didn’t think of it at all.
“He wants me to be a unifier and lead the team. And that I can be a link between the old guard and the new generation and lead this team to win titles.
“The players who have played with me know that my first obsession is to win. And I don’t win alone, but with the team.
Mbappe speaks in the clear with Griezmann
Kylian Mbappe’s recent appointment as France’s new captain to succeed Hugo Lloris has caused something of a melodrama at Clairefontaine, with Antoine Griezmann saying he is very disappointed to have been overlooked.
However, in a pre-match press conference on Thursday, the PSG star said he had had clear talks with his experienced vice-captain and that he would not be his superior.
“It’s an expected reaction. I told him I would have had the same reaction,” Mbappe said.
“He is perhaps the most important player of the Deschamps era. I am not his superior.
“He and I will be hand in hand to try and take his team to the top at world level. If he has something to say to the group, I will sit down and listen.
“He has experience playing for France that I don’t have.
“He is held in high regard and appreciated by the whole team, so it would be a shame if we didn’t benefit from his experience and his zest for life as well.”