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World Cup runners-up France kick start their Euro 2024 Qualifying campaign with a cracker of an encounter against the Netherlands on Friday.

This is France’s first game since that devastating penalty-shootout defeat in the Qatar final to eventual winners Argentina.

The Dutch have not also been in action since they were dumped out of the quarterfinals by Lionel Messi’s Argentina in yet another penalty shootout.

The two European giants will be vying for top spot in Group B, and are joined by Greece, Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar.

France, ranked third in the world by FIFA behind Brazil and Argentina, have not won the European Championships since 2000.

Didier Deschamp’s side an underwhelming Nations League campaign, suffering two home defeats last year, to Denmark and Croatia in June.

Ronald Koeman took the reins at the Dutch helm for a second time after a two-year stint between 2018 and 2020, in which he won 11 of his 20 games in the dugout.

Netherlands had put together an impressive 19-game unbeaten run in all competitions prior to their defeat on penalties to Argentina and are looking to bounce back.

Following the international retirement of stars like Hugo Lloris and Raphael Varane, Kylian Mbappe has been announced as the captain of the French national side.

Can the 24-year old handle the weight of being the French captain and guide his side to an opening victory in Group B?

What time does France vs Netherlands start?

The game kicks off at 19:45pm CET at the Stade de France.

France vs Netherlands team news

Mike Maignan will be between the sticks as the new French number one after Lloris’s exit from the side and Aurelien Tchouameni is set to start at left-back.

Theo Hernandez and Adrien Rabiot are guaranteed a start in the midfield, with Kingsley Coman also set to start.

Vice captain Antoine Griezmann and Mbappe will be the wide attacking options in support of AC Milan Olivier Giroud up front.

For the visitors, Frenkie de Jong and Steven Bergwijn are both unavailable for selection as they have pulled out of the 25-man squad due to injury.

Up front, the familiar trio of Memphis Depay, Cody Gakpo and Wout Weghorst will all start to provide the attacking threat.

France vs Netherlands head to head

The hosts have a slight advantage, winning 5 of the 9 games played against the Dutch, who have won 3 times. Only one has resulted in a draw.

France vs Netherlands current form

Les Bleus have lost twice in their last 5 games and won the remaining 3, while their opponents have lost just once in that run, winning three and sharing the spoils in another.

France vs Netherlands prediction

This is expected to be a banger of a fixture and the last 3 games between these two have produced over 1.5 goals. This will be the case here again.

France are favorites to win on the day.

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