Euro 2024: What to Expect from France’s First Opponent, Austria

Tick-tock! The start of Euro 2024 is approaching. France aims to end a 24-year drought with the clear goal of winning the tournament. The journey will be long, as the French team kicks off on Monday, June 17th, against Austria, a familiar opponent who has often caused problems for Didier Deschamps.

It’s been 24 years, and the time has come! The French team is eyeing the trophy at Euro 2024 in Germany. To achieve their goal, the runners-up of the 2022 World Cup must first win their opening group stage match against Austria on Monday, June 17th, to kick off the European Nations Championship in Germany on a strong note.

Didier Deschamps, speaking to La Dépêche du Midi at Clairefontaine on Friday, June 7th, emphasized the need to take David Alaba’s team seriously. When asked if Austria is being underestimated, the coach replied, “Yes, a lot. I closely observe their recent performances, and no one talks about it. They are solid, like the Netherlands. In our last two encounters, they were missing five starters. We have a very strong squad. Before thinking about the second phase, we need to focus on the first.”

Antoine Griezmann also acknowledged the significance of the opening match against Austria, stating that they have been preparing for it for weeks. He mentioned, “Every time we face a team, we watch videos of them during meals at Clairefontaine, for example. We have been studying the Austrians for ten days now. Those who watch know how they attack and defend. Next week, we will get down to business.”

**Match Trap**
Beware! Previous matches against Austria have never been easy for the French national team. In 2022, they faced off in the League A group stage of the Nations League, resulting in a 1-1 draw in Austria. The return match was equally challenging, with France narrowly winning 2-0.

The current form of Austria proves that they should not be underestimated. The “Burschen” are on a winning streak of 6 games, including a notable victory against Germany in 2023.

This Austrian team boasts talented players, including Marcel Sabitzer, a European runner-up with Borussia Dortmund, who had a successful season in the Champions League. Another familiar face from Ligue 1, Kevin Danso of RC Lens, will be eager to stop the French attackers in the upcoming match at the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Dusseldorf.