Euro 2024: the Blues vs the Netherlands, qualifiers in sight

Euro 2024: the Blues vs the Netherlands, qualifiers in sight

A shock against the Netherlands, Ireland and Greece are on the agenda: France inherited a reared chicken between three former European champions in Euro 2024 qualifiers on Sunday, while England and Greece will face Italy, finalists of the last European Championship, in the same group.

Six weeks before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Blues probably don’t have these upcoming qualifiers in the foreground. But they now know what their year 2023 will be like.

From March to November, the world champions are therefore scheduled for eight meetings across Europe, including trips to Greece and Ireland, but also an unprecedented opposition to Gibraltar.

But the duel against the “Oranje”, since Euro 1988 in search of a trophy, will undoubtedly be the highlight of the qualifying run of Kylian Mbappé’s partners.

At the end of the day, two tickets for Euro 2024 in Germany go to the first two of this pool B.

“The Netherlands remain a great nation in European football. They are on the up with what they have been able to achieve in recent games,” coach Didier Deschamps told AFP. “The group is pretty tight, of course we knew with our results that we had a good chance of falling on a big one.

Handicapped by their poor performance in recent months – just one win in their last six games – the French have indeed approached the ceremony in the N.2 hat, without top-seeded status for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers and 2018.

And inevitably the risk of taking on an old continent flagship nation was very real, random salad bowls and balls mixed up by the innocent hands of former team forward Jurgen Klinsmann and ex-Italy defender Gianluca Zambrotta on Sunday.

– Italy-England at its peak –

Fears quickly materialized with this opposition to the Netherlands from Memphis Depay and Virgil Van Dijk, a much tougher opponent than Hungary or Poland, also seeded.

Finally, in hat No. 3, that of Ukraine, Sweden or Erling Haaland’s Norway, it is Ireland that faces Antoine Griezmann and his partners, which inevitably revives the memory of the qualifying barrage at the 2010 World Cup, damaged by a hand was by Thierry Henry, who caused a lot of conversation. Since then, the Blues have twice challenged the Irish, for two wins.

And in Pot No. 4 Turkey, who had already crossed the main threat en route to the last Euro, returned to the Croatian group, the Blues inheriting Greece, the 2004 European champions in search of their former glory.

Group C will be the other attraction of this qualifying stage with a clash between Italy and England, a repeat of the EURO final which the Italians won on penalties. Ukraine is also part of this difficult group.

Netherlands, Ireland, Greece, Gibraltar: Deschamps is certain. But will the coach still oversee the Blues for a 5th stage qualifier of a major competition? Much will depend on their performance in Qatar as his contract expires in December after 10½ years in charge.

“I don’t even ask myself that question. That’s after the World Cup. The most important thing for me, the players, my staff is what awaits us in November,” the technician assured.

For its part, host country Germany can only focus on the World Cup, as it has already qualified for the European Championship as the host nation.

In addition to the twenty tickets awarded via these qualifiers, three nations will receive their sesame in March 2024 during the play-offs between twelve teams based on their League of Nations classification. The only thing that is certain is that Russia will not be there: it was excluded after the invasion of Ukraine.


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