Thursday 31 Aug

France vs Netherlands - Match preview

30 Aug 2017 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL: World Cup Qual. UEFA Group A
INTERNATIONAL: World Cup Qual. UEFA Group A

France

  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

vs

Kick-off
18:45 GMT
31 August 2017

Netherlands

  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Kick-off
18:45 GMT 31 August 2017

As the 2017/18 season has just had time to get started, international football with the first break of the new campaign. And while it will annoy football fans across the world, we need to know which sides will be competing in Russia next year at the World Cup. Friday night sees Netherlands make the trip across Europe to face Euro finalists, France as both sides look to qualify from Group A. Sweden are currently leading the group on 13 points, separated from France by just goal difference. Netherlands are in third with 10 points.

STATS

  • After their soul-destroying loss in the Euro final last summer, France have been in decent form with just two losses from ten games, just one of which coming in the World Cup qualifiers. This loss came at the hands of Sweden in the last international break, which put the Scandinavians ahead of them in the group.
  • On the back of their bitter disappointment from not qualifying for the Euros last year, their form has picked up slightly since with five wins in their last nine. Losses to France and Bulgaria in the group have hurt them though as they have lost ground on the two leading nations. They battered Luxembourg in their last game and came out 5-0 winners.
  • While his club career might have declined over the summer, Olivier Giroud is still performing on the international stage as he is France's top goal scorer so far in qualifying with three goals.
  • Highly-rated Spartak Moscow forward, Quincy Promes, has been in top form for the Netherlands in qualifying and has managed as many goals as Giroud. This makes them joint second leading scorers in group A.

HEAD TO HEAD

Since the two sides last faced off in a World Cup qualifying group (1982), France have dominated the fixtures. In the 13 games, they have only allowed three Netherlands wins and have won each of the last three meetings. Both teams have scored in just two of the last five between them.

FRANCE NEWS

If France take all three points in this big World Cup qualifier, they may take Sweden over at the top of the group and their squad is more than strong enough to ensure they win. Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Antoine Griezmann, Alexandre Lacazette and Kylian Mbappe are all included in Didier Deschamps’ squad.

Latest matches: France

13.06.2017 Int. France England 3:2 W
09.06.2017 Worl Sweden France 2:1 L
02.06.2017 Int. France Paraguay 5:0 W
28.03.2017 Int. France Spain 0:2 L
25.03.2017 Worl Luxembourg France 1:3 W

NETHERLANDS NEWS

If they want any chance of qualification to next summer’s tournament it is vital that Netherlands avoid defeat in this clash. They welcome the return of Robin van Persie to the international fold after almost two years away. Although, he will probably occupy the bench as Vincent Janssen has been in good form for Oranje. They also have Wesley Sneijder, Gini Wijnaldum, Arjen Robben and Memphis Depay in their squad.

Latest matches: Netherlands

09.06.2017 Worl Netherlands Luxembourg 5:0 W
04.06.2017 Int. Netherlands Ivory Coast 5:0 W
31.05.2017 Int. Morocco Netherlands 1:2 W
28.03.2017 Int. Netherlands Italy 1:2 L
25.03.2017 Worl Bulgaria Netherlands 2:0 L

SUMMARY

Several years ago i t would have been very tough to call a winner in this clash but with the way the Netherlands have fallen off the international ladder, it is much easier nowadays. France shouldn’t have too many problems winning the game with their extremely capable squad, especially with home support behind them. The strong Netherlands side should at least score but they won’t be able to cope with the quality of the French.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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