‘A dense and difficult group’- Didier Deschamps’ verdict to France drawing Austria and The Netherlands in the Euro 2024 group stage

France have been drawn in Euro 2024’s Group D alongside Austria, The Netherlands and the playoff winner A (either one of Poland, Wales, Finland and Estonia). Didier Deschamps’ Les Bleus will reunite with Ronald Koeman’s Oranje after beating them twice in the qualifying campaign. Deschamps was a notable absentee at the Euro 2024 draw held in Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie after sustaining back surgery this week. France’s national team manager gave his verdict to TMC.

It’s going to be difficult. The Pot 3 team we’ll be facing are The Netherlands… We won both our games against them but it makes our group harder. We also faced Austria during the latest Nations League campaign and it was far from easy. We don’t know yet our last opponent. But it’s a dense and difficult group.”

‘It’s less bad than in 2021’

Deschamps is wary of the threat posed by a full-strength Netherlands, mentioning they were very close to beating Argentina in the quarter-finals stage of the 2022 World Cup. “They are among the best national teams in Europe.” Deschamps also lauded the improvement shown by Austria under Ralf Rangnick’s guidance.

However, France’s national team boss said Saturday’s group stage draw could hardly have been worse that the one in 2021, where Les Bleus were drawn with Hungary, Germany and Portugal. France also dodged Italy, which where drawn in Pot 4. “It’s less bad than in 2021. But we need to be ready from the start. If everything goes our way, we may able to manage our third game, it will be for the best.

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

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