France vs Netherlands: Prediction and Preview
France host the Netherlands at Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris on Friday night as both sides open Euro 2024 qualification. We look ahead to the game with the key Opta insights and supercomputer prediction.
France vs Netherlands: The Quick Hits
- France the favourites to beat the Netherlands with the Opta supercomputer (41.8%).
- Ronald Koeman back in the Dutch dugout and hoping to continue their 20-game unbeaten run.
- France have won five of their last six games against the Dutch but lost their last meeting in November 2018.
France and the Netherlands open their quests for Euro 2024 qualification ahead of next summer’s tournament in Germany. With the top two teams from each group guaranteed a place in the finals, these two nations are widely expected to fill those spots ahead of Group B opponents the Republic of Ireland, Greece and Gibraltar – however, finishing top for preferential seeding at the tournament itself will be in the back of their minds.
After ending a five-game losing streak against the French with their 2-0 win over them in the last meeting in November 2018, the Dutch will be looking to win back-to-back matches versus France for the first time since November 1931.
The Netherlands have not won any of their last nine away meetings with France (D2 L7) and last recorded an away victory over the French in January 1936 (1-6 in a friendly). They could match the longest away series without a win over a single opponent (10 against Italy, where the Netherlands has never won away), should they lose this match on Friday night.
Ronald Koeman is back in the Netherlands’ dugout following Louis van Gaal’s post-World Cup resignation. In his first spell between February 2018 and August 2020, he oversaw 11 wins in 20 matches (D5 L4).
Didier Dechamps will take charge of his 140th game as France manager – already a national team record. He’s won the World Cup and UEFA Nations League as their coach, but the UEFA European Championships have eluded him thus far, after the French lost to Portugal at Stade de France in the Euro 2016 final.
Dutch veteran Daley Blind could win his 100th cap for the Netherlands in this match on Friday, becoming the ninth different player to reach the century for the nation, but it’s expected he’ll be on the bench with Nathan Ake or Tyrell Malacia preferred in Koeman’s starting XI. The last player reach 100 caps for the Dutch was Robin van Persie in October 2015.
Netherlands 2-0 France: 16 November 2018 (UEFA Nations League)
It’s been four and a half years since France and the Netherlands met in an international fixture, with the Dutch running out 2-0 winners over the French in Rotterdam at De Kuip.
A first-half goal from Georginio Wijnaldum saw the Dutch lead from the 44th minute before a cheeky ‘paneka’ penalty over Hugo Lloris from Memphis Depay put the seal on the win in the 96th minute.
This win ended a run of five successive defeats for the Netherlands against France and was their first victory over them for 10 years since a 4-1 European Championship group-stage win at Euro 2008.
Ronald Koeman’s Dutch side eventually topped their UEFA Nations League group and ended as losing finalists to Portugal in the 2018-19 edition of the competition.
The Netherlands are unbeaten in each of their last 20 international matches – winning 14 and drawing six with the latest being resolved in a penalty shootout against Argentina at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It’s the longest unbeaten streak by the Dutch national team since a run of 25 games under Bert van Marwijk between September 2008 and July 2010.
The Dutch have scored in every one of these 20 internationals across this run (2.55 goals per game), with a 2-0 defeat against the Czech Republic in their Euro 2020 quarter-final meeting in June 2021 the last time that they lost and failed to score in a match.
The Netherlands have lost just one of their last 17 away games since losing to France at the Stade de France in September 2018, winning nine and drawing seven. Their only defeat in this 17-game sequence came in Turkey when they lost 4-2 in a World Cup qualifier in March 2021.
This will be France’s first game since losing the World Cup final to Argentina after a penalty shootout. Not including that game (as it ended as a draw after extra time), France lost four games in 2022 – their most defeats in a calendar year since 2015 (also four).
The French have lost two of their last three internationals at home, all played at Stade de France, with defeats to Denmark and Croatia in the most recent edition of the UEFA Nations League followed by a 2-0 home win over Austria in September. In fact, they have only won three of their last eight matches in the stadium (W3 D2 L3).
France: Kylian Mbappé
Who else? He only turned 24 years old in late December, but he’s already on 66 caps and 36 goals for Les Bleus and well on his way to breaking team-mate Olivier Giroud’s record tally of 53 goals for the French national team.
Mbappé has scored 18 goals in his last 16 matches with the French national team, including an exceptional hat-trick in his last appearance – the 2022 World Cup final against Argentina. That 18-goal tally is as many as in his first 50 caps. He’s come a long way since scoring his first international goal against the Netherlands on 31 August 2017.
Domestically in 2022-23, Mbappé’s been at his devastating best. He’s grabbed 31 goals in 33 games for Paris Saint-Germain so far this season, with another seven assists. The only player within the top five European leagues to have scored more goals (42) and have more goal involvements (47) than the French forward (38) is Manchester City’s record-breaking striker Erling Haaland.
Netherlands: Memphis Depay
Ronald Koeman knows he can rely on Memphis Depay. After all, during his first spell as Dutch coach, more than half of their goals under his reign involved Depay (22/43 – 11 goals, 11 assists).
Koeman was also the manager to convince Depay to leave Lyon and head to Barcelona on a free transfer in the summer of 2021. Depay was involved in more goals for the Spanish club than any other Barca player with Koeman in charge (six – four goals, two assists in 13 games) before the Dutch coach was sacked in late October.
Depay has enjoyed himself against France in the past, with the 29-year-old involved in three of the Netherlands’ last five goals against them (one goal, two assists).
Since the start of 2021, Depay has the most goals (22) and most assists (nine) for the Netherlands, with his 31 goal involvements 19 more than any other Dutch player in this period. His importance will be increased in this game, with key players Denzel Dumfries suspended and Frenkie de Jong injured, while fellow attacking star Cody Gakpo may miss out with illness.
France vs Netherlands Prediction
The Opta supercomputer gives France the edge in this Euro 2024 qualifier, with Didier Deschamps’ side given a 41.8% chance of victory at Stade de France.
This should be the Netherlands’ toughest fixture in their Group B schedule, but they still have over a one-in-four chance of picking up an exceptional win in Paris (26.9%).
France vs Netherlands Squads
France squad: Brice Samba, Mike Maignan, Alphonse Areola, Benjamin Pavard, Axel Disasi, Dayot Upamecano, Jules Koundé, Ibrahima Konaté, Jean-Clair Todibo, Théo Hernandez, Youssouf Fofana, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Adrien Rabiot, Jordan Veretout, Khéphren Thuram, Eduardo Camavinga, Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappé (captain), Marcus Thuram, Randal Kolo Muani, Moussa Diaby, Kingsley Coman.
Netherlands squad: Jasper Cillessen, Mark Flekken, Kjell Scherpen, Jurriën Timber, Stefan de Vrij, Virgil van Dijk (captain), Nathan Aké, Tyrell Malacia, Lutsharel Geertruida, Daley Blind, Georginio Wijnaldum, Steven Berghuis, Davy Klaassen, Marten de Roon, Mats Wieffer, Kenneth Taylor, Ryan Gravenberch, Xavi Simons, Donyell Malen, Memphis Depay, Brian Brobbey, Wout Weghorst.
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