European Championship: Austria – France

The second game in Group D sees top favourite France face off with potential dark horse Austria. We all know the power and experience that the France squad boasts and it´s for that reason that most people see France as a very strong contender for the Euro Title. However, their first hurdle on the way might not be as easy as people think. Austria under new coach Ralf Ragnick have worked very hard on developing a very high pressure style game that is difficult to counter. Austria´s recent form has been good as well, with an impressive 6-1 victory over Turkey as best result. 

Austria Team News

Long term injured David Alaba, Sasa Kalajdzic and Xaver Schlager all were not able to return to fitness in time to participate in the Euro´s. Especially the absence of star player Alaba will be felt by Ragnick´s side. Of the players that have made the squad it looks like almost all are fully fit. Gernot Trauner did not train on Friday but it seemed to be a precaution for today´s game while also right back Stefan Posch looks fit ahead of the game. 

France Team News

France had an injury scare when star player Mbappe suffered a knock on the knee. The starlet has been instrumental in France impressive displays at recent tournaments. Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni however is set to miss the opening match as he is still recovering from the foot injury that has also kept him sidelined during the Champions League Final. Adrien Rabiot seems to be the designated replacement for Tchouameni for the first game and it seems likely that Ngolo Kante will be granted a start in midfield ahead of Camavinga and Zaire-Emery. 

Austria Form

A 2-2 draw in the last game before the tournament against Switzerland meant an end to a 6 game victory streak that included impressive victories over Germany(2-0) and Turkey(6-1). Ralf Ragnick has managed to shape the team exactly to his liking, with strong tactical and playing style that give many teams a difficult time dealing with. This Austrian squad might not be one of the stronger sides in terms of individual quality but all players work perfectly disciplined in the tactics and playing style. 

France Form

France have shown mixed form in the games preceding the Euro´s. After beating the Netherlands and Gibraltar with a record score in qualification, Deschmamps his side lost 2-0 against a revived Germany under Julian Nagelsmann. Another disapointing result in the final game before the Euro´s came when France failed to overcome Canada in a 0-0 draw last week Sunday. However, France will still be considered strong favourites for the tournament, knowing to excel at the moments when it matters and their experience and stability proving crucial. 

What do the stats say?

  • Austria unbeaten in 7 games and have lost only 1 out of their last 16 games
  • France have won only 2 out of their last 5 games
  • Austria have only won twice against France in history, losing 8 and drawing once. 

Our verdict

France will be firm favourites in most people´s eyes. Of course, with their quality and history there is a lot of reason behind this. However, Austria could prove to be a very challenging opponent for Deschamp´s his men. We believe that France has the stability and quality in midfield and defence to keep Austria at bay with a draw or a small victory for France looking like credible outcomes. 

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.