France – Netherlands | 24/03/2023

Three months on from losing the 2022 World Cup final, France welcome the Netherlands to the Stade de France for their opening Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday. The two European giants will be vying for top spot in Group B, and are joined by Greece, Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar.

France enter this opening game of their 2024 Euro qualification campaign looking to bounce back after their demoralising penalty shootout defeat against Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final. This clash between Group B’s two highest FIFA ranked sides marks the beginning of a new era for France after the resignation of the French football federation president Nöel le Graet and the retirement of several key players, including former captain Hugo Lloris.

Kylian Mbappé has been handed the armband after becoming just the second player in history to net a hat-trick in the WC final and you’d imagine the leadership he displayed throughout that World Cup campaign was a factor in coach Didier Deschamps’ decision. Five wins across the previous six H2Hs against the Netherlands (L1) should give Deschamps and his team belief that even in the absence of their retired big-hitters they can extend their current nine-game unbeaten run on home soil in Euro qualifiers (W7, D2).

Like their hosts, the Netherlands were also knocked out of the 2022 WC by Argentina, falling to a penalty shootout defeat in the quarter-finals. When it comes to qualifiers, facing France doesn’t necessarily conjure up good memories for the Dutch, as the Oranje did not manage to qualify for the 2018 World Cup when both teams were in the same qualifying group, partly due to two H2H losses ‘to nil’.

Interestingly, the last two times Netherlands failed to qualify for a Euro finals (2016 and 1984) were also the two most recent tournaments to be played in France, with coach Ronald Koeman being part of the team that failed in 1984. Koeman will hope things are different this time around as his side’s recent form is impressive, with their last 90-minute defeat coming in June 2021 (W14, D6 since).


Date: 23/03/2023
Time: 22:45
Venue: Stade de France (Paris – Saint-Denis)
Pick for this match:
“1” – @ 1.76 ( BETWAY )

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