France and the Netherlands face off on Friday, marking the beginning of a new cycle as they both look to qualify for the 2024 European Championships. However, the disappointment of losing to Argentina in the quarterfinals of the World Cup last year will still be fresh in their minds.
The talented Dutch team will face off against Kylian Mbappe and the rest of the French national team, who were unlucky to lose the World Cup Final.
France vs. Netherlands picks and predictions
The France vs. Netherlands game on Friday is the most intriguing of the international break’s matches. Group B kicks off with a bang as two European soccer powerhouses go head-to-head in this matchup.
Although both teams have changed since their performances in Qatar, France appears weaker defensively due to the absence of several key players. The injured William Saliba and the retired Raphael Varane both forced them out of the squad. France’s former captain Hugo Lloris retired after that final loss, and Kylian Mbappe was named the new captain.
After Louis van Gaal’s departure, Ronald Koeman took over as manager of the Netherlands. Koeman has named five players to the squad who have never played for the Netherlands before but could make their debut against France.
The Dutch surprised many with their play in Qatar, but Argentina eliminated them and is struggling without Frenkie de Jong. De Jong’s ability to distribute the ball and maintain possession will be crucial in their upcoming match against France, making him one of the best players in the world and an integral part of the team’s strategy.
The Dutch have a tough road ahead of them if they want to win this match. They could have better goalkeepers or forwards, and de Jong, their best midfielder, is injured and out of action. They have some great defensive players, but more is needed to stop France’s abundance of offensive talent.
You can get -115 on the French winning this game, and that price will go down as the big game nears, so if that’s where your allegiance lies, you should make your wager as soon as possible. We saw in the World Cup how dangerous Mbappe can be, and he is a sensational talent. On the left side, he faces a favorable matchup against Denzel Dumfries.
France are stacked all over the field, while the Netherlands only have a few truly world-class players.
France to win at -115 is the best value bet you’ll find all week, and I also think France -1 at +240 or France -2 goals at +600 in the handicap markets is too high of a price. Don’t worry, France will prevail despite your ponderings.
France vs Netherlands side analysis
As was already stated, you don’t have to give too much thought to this. Although they were unable to win the World Cup, France showed in Qatar that they are a formidable opponent even when missing key players. Their starting eleven is indicative of the depth of their talent pool, which is unparalleled.
They will still have Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate in the back, as well as Theo Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard at fullback, despite losing Saliba and the recently retired Varane. With Adrien Rabiot and Aurelien Tchouameni in the middle, they have a rock-solid defense, but it’s the offense that makes them so scary.
It’s likely that Olivier Giroud will start up top, with Kingsley Coman and Mbappe on either side and Antoine Griezmann in the back. The Atletico Madrid star will be able to dictate play and set the tempo, as he did so effectively in Qatar.
Matthijs de Ligt, Virgil van Dijk, fellow Premier League starters Nathan Ake and Sven Botman, and Ajax’s Jurrien Timber will all be available for the Dutch, who have a good defense but aren’t blessed with exceptional talent elsewhere.
Although Cillesseen will start in goal, the rest of the team is stronger than the one wearing blue. The midfield duo of De Roon and Wijnaldum isn’t as good as the home team’s, and Cody Gakpo, Bergwijn, and Weghorst are all talented players, but they don’t pose as much of a threat as the home team’s front three.
France vs Netherlands Over/Under analysis
Though the Under is a slight -125 favorite, the odds are so close that a pick could be made either way. Although both teams have strong defensive players, plenty of goals will be scored, so I’ll be betting +106 on the Over.
At the World Cup, we saw France be pragmatic, opting to manage games rather than run over their opponents. However, this is not a tournament game. First home game after a disappointing tournament. With Mbappe as the new captain, France will be looking to make a statement and for him to score at least his 37th goal for France.
And for those interested in football betting, at +310, the France team total Over 2.5 is an attractive proposition. The Dutch may score, as they are a competent team, but I don’t see them scoring more than once on their way to a comfortable defeat.