Austria vs France preview, team news, tickets and prediction

Austria vs France Preview

2018 world champions France, are joined by Ralf Rangnick’s in-form Austria,1988 European champions the Netherlands, and (as at the time of writing) one of Poland, Estonia, Wales, or Finland will complete the quartet once they have rounded off their single-legged play-off semi-finals and final in March

Since Ralf Rangnick’s appointment in May 2022, following his interim stint at Manchester United, the German has imposed his style of play featuring high pressing, verticality, aggressive counter-pressing, and controlling all game phases. In the homestead, Austria is now ranked 24th in the world at the time of writing. Their revamped form having missed out on the 2022 World Cup saw them lose and draw just one game apiece across qualification, winning 6 times and racking 19 points (just one behind first-placed Belgium and 9 clear of next-placed Sweden).

The 2008 UEFA European Championship was Austria’s first time competing in the tournament, and they co-hosted it with Switzerland. They were drawn into Group C with the Netherlands, Ukraine, and debutants North Macedonia. Despite finishing second in the group, they made history by becoming the first Austrian team to reach the knockout stages of a major tournament since the 1982 FIFA World Cup. Their run ended in the round of 16 against Italy at Wembley Stadium, where they lost 2-1 after extra time, with Sasa Kalajdzic scoring their lone goal in the 114th minute. 

In qualification, France was unbeaten winning 7 games and dropping points only in the 2-2 draw in their final game against Greece with qualification and top spot already confirmed. They put 29 goals past their 4 opponents in Netherlands, Greece, Ireland, and Gibraltar with 14 notably coming in their 14-nil victory against Gibraltar in mid-November.

With big names such as Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea’s Christopher Nkunku, Olivier Giroud from Milan, Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman, and Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid leading the way, France is undoubtedly among the favorites heading into the Euros.

France manager Didier Deschamps is looking to make history by becoming the first person to win the tournament as both a player and a head coach, having captained the country to victory in Euro 2000. But France’s path to the knockout rounds will be difficult, particularly against their Group D rivals, the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has always retained France at the Euros, with the two sides meeting in 2000 and 2008. France also faced Oranje in qualifying for the tournament(remaining unbeaten in both encounters however).

Austria and France have faced off 25 times with Les Bleus leading the pace with 13 wins and 42 goals scored while Austria has settled for 9 wins, remarkably scoring 41 goals. There have been 3 draws in their encounters. They recently faced off in the 2022 Nations League with a Kylian Mbappe 83rd minute strike earning France a point in their away fixture and France coming out 2-0 victors in the return leg.

Match Tickets

The game will take place at the Merkur Spiel-Arena, home to Fortuna Düsseldorf of the German Bundesliga on 17th June 2024 at 20:00. 

With a capacity of just under 50,000, it is one of the smaller venues for the tournament but still a formidable place to watch a game of football.

Austria vs France tickets can be purchased on the official UEFA ticketing portal on its website and tickets are awarded based on a lottery system. In the UK, the BBC and ITV will share the broadcasting rights for the first 50 matches, with the final to be shown by both broadcasters.

Fans in Canada can watch the tournament on TSN and TVA Sports; in the US, it’s available on Fox Sports and TelevisaUnison.

Team News

Line ups

Ralf Rangnick’s Unsere Burschen will look to ride their luck in the tournament’s likely group of death. The German manager has recently opted for more midfielders to control the game better. Borussia Dortmund’s Marcel Sabitzer and Bayern Munich’s Konrad Laimer both midfielders, featured as left and right wingers respectively in their final qualification game against Estonia and the recent 2-0 friendly victory over Germany. The gaffer will likely keep his conservative approach ahead of fixtures with the Netherlands and France.

Austria XI – Schlager; Posch, Lienhart, Alaba, Mwene; Baumgartner, Siewald, Schlager; Laimer, Gregoritsch, Sabitzer.

Didier Deschamps’ biggest headache is the presence of French stars in nearly all European top teams. The farther these teams go the more workload and minutes their players incur ahead of an intense tournament. The gaffer has recently given appearances to young players and new names but still is expected to fuse them around the core of his trusted players over the last 2 major tournaments. Karim Benzema’s retirement confirms that Olivier Giroud retains his spot as topman flanked by new captain Kylian Mbappe. Hugo Lloris’ retirement from international football has made AC Milan’s Mike Maignan the new number one and possibly West Ham United’s  Alphonse Areola and Lens’ Brice Samba will sum up the goalkeeping department.

France XIMaignan; Kounde, Konate, Upamecano, Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot, Griezmann, Coman, Giroud, Mbappe.

Prediction

France has been on the lookout for European glory for a long time now and it increasingly looks like Didier Deschamps’ side has all it takes to go all the way given their experience at major tournaments. Austria is certainly no pushover and hence promises to be an exciting game in all.

Austria 1-3 France