France Euro 2024 squad, predicted line-up versus Austria, latest odds and star players

5 days ago 13

FRANCE are the one nation all England fans are truly afraid of.

The 2018 World Cup winners are many people’s favourites to win the tournament and have some making up to do at the Euros after being knocked out at the round of 16 stage by Switzerland last time around.

Rex
France are always in contention with a star-studded squad[/caption]

Few expect it to happen again after they bounced back by reaching a second consecutive World Cup final in 2022, seeing off England along the way.

Les Blues sailed through qualifying winning all but one of their games – a 2-2 draw with Greece once qualification was already sealed – and conceding just three goals in eight matches.

They are led, once more, by Kylian Mbappe, though Didier Deschamps will hope his pending move to Real Madrid does not disrupt the French camp in any way.

Teenager Warren Zaire-Emery is one to watch, with the midfielder shining for Paris Saint-Germain all season long.

It is not all plain sailing for Deschamps.

There will be concerns over the form and fitness of Kingsley Coman, who has had a difficult season at club level,while Dayot Upemecano could also prove a problem at centre-back.

However, Ousmane Dembele‘s strong end to the season at PSG is cause for optimism

Manager: Didier Deschamps

Coming up to 12 years in the job, the only thing missing from his CV is Euro-winning boss. 

France head coach Didier DeschampsEPA

Key man: Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe’s PSG career may have ended in Champions League disappointment, but you can be sure he will deliver for France.

He scored in the 2018 World Cup final at 19 and followed that with a hat-trick in the 2022 final.

At the time of writing, Mbappe has scored 329 and assisted 154 goals in 441 career appearances for club and country, winning 16 trophies.

Likely line-up

The defence looks rock solid, with Theo Hernandez at left-back and Jonathan Clauss at right-back, although Jules Kounde could slot in there.

Aurelien Tchouameni, Adrien Rabiot and Antoine Griezmann make up the midfield.

Olivier Giroud leads the line, before his retirement, with Mbappe on the left and Kingsley Coman on the right with Ousmane Dembele waiting in the wings.

Their strength in depth is frightening and if they suffer injuries, it should not be a problem.

How they attack

Expect to see France play in a fluid 4-3-3 – which becomes 4-2-3-1 in possession – throughout the tournament.

Giroud acts as the focal point in the attack with the two wide players and Griezmann as No 10 supporting.

The focus is Giroud, who takes the ball and lays it off to Kolo Muani who scores

France will almost always dominate possession and as such they will push numbers into the final third and occupy space across the last line.

They then use central passes to pin the opposition back before quickly playing around and into space wide.

France have the Dutch defending their box. Griezmann is key and his intelligent positioning and use of the ball can break down any defence with a clever pass

Playing as the most advanced midfielder, tucked behind the strikers, Griezmann has a key role in linking everything together.

His positioning and game intelligence is so good that he continually gets into positions to receive and play the next pass to unlock the defence.

Griezmann here drops deeper to receive a pass and he quickly releases the ball wide to a team-mate attacking the space

How they defend

As with most teams who are possession dominant we can expect to see France defend high with an emphasis on winning back possession as far up the pitch as possible.

As Germany take a quick goal kick France are lined up with two high players and four across the width of the pitch to reduce the passing options

France will stagger their defensive shape when the opposition are in possession.

They will typically make it extremely difficult for the opposition to play through or around the press.

The French team defend from the front and press in a staggered formation to smother the opposition

The aim defensively for France is, of course, to regain possession as quickly as possible.

But the secondary aim is to either force the opposition wide or make them try longer passes over the top that can be turned over.

With their unique way of positioning in layers, France will be consistently difficult to play through, even for top teams.

Prediction

If France finish ahead of Group D rivals the Netherlands, Austria and Poland they will face the runners-up of Group F.

With Portugal expected to top the standings, that could mean a winnable tie against the Czech Republic, Turkey or minnows Georgia.

Neighbours Belgium may be up in the quarter-finals and a juicy World Cup semi-final rematch against England could be on the cards after that.

If France finish second, they would enter the other bracket and face a runner up from Group E – potentially Ukraine or Romania.

Portugal would be the most likely quarter-final foes with Germany, Italy, Croatia and Spain possible semi-final opponents.

Latest odds

France have a decent draw and go into the tournament as second favourites behind England.

William Hill are pricing them at 4-1.

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Wags and glam fans

Hernandez’s Italian girlfriend breaks the mould for Wags.

Heavily-tattooed Zoe Cristofoli has more than a million Instagram followers and has modelled in music videos and also owns her own tattoo parlour.

Mbappe is rumoured to be dating stunning Belgian model Rose Bertram.

Erika Choperena is a child psychologist and wife of Griezmann.

The pair were together for six years, before they finally married in an amazing ceremony at the 11th Century Palacio de Galiana in Toledo, Spain in 2017.

She also runs her own clothing label for kids called Duzama.

Giroud has four children with wife Jennifer.

Instagram @zoe_cristofoli
Zoe Cristofoli is married to Theo Hernandez[/caption]
Getty
The stunning influencer often watches him play[/caption]
Getty
Cristofoli was at the World Cup in Doha[/caption]
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Rose Bertram has been linked with Kylian Mbappe[/caption]
Instagram
The model reportedly is one of Leonardo Di Caprio’s many exes[/caption]
AFP or licensors
Erika Choperena is married to Antoine Griezmann[/caption]
Getty - Contributor
Jennifer Giroud is a regular at France games[/caption]
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