Soccer. Nations League: Austria

Soccer.  Nations League: Austria

Les Blues in ski lift

A defeat and a draw to start the group stage of the League of Nations was not really planned in the Blues’ program as they prepare to face Austria at the sold-out Ernest-Happel Stadium (8:45 pm). If we’ve mainly heard about the stadium for surprising reasons – Austria – Denmark (1-2) forming a hole about thirty centimeters in the height of the central circle after the match – everything seems to have settled there from this side.

Now the most important thing is somewhere else. Captain Hugo Lloris is confident that Mike Mignon will resume his goal-scoring prowess after a stellar break with his Understady against Croatia. But now, the Blues are facing absenteeism or uncertainty (Mbappé, Kanté, Rabiot), which can be tested both physically and mentally, while promising that a win is essential to return to the race to qualify. Keep in mind that only the first will qualify for the future Final 4 and currently Denmark is 6 points ahead of Austria (3), France and Croatia (1).

Rangnik style Austria

The Blues realized that if they failed to qualify for the World Cup, they would have to redouble their efforts against a better-placed Austrian team, with new coach Ralph Rangnik appointed at the end of it. April. The German coach, who excelled in both pressing and counter-pressing, elevated Hoffenheim to a new level and made his mark in Leipzig, is changing Austria’s game after a gap of a few months at Manchester United.

“Austria have been remarkable for their dynamic and physical innovation in their last two matches,” Deschamps observes. “Overall, this is a team that gives a lot of intensity,” he warns. If David Alba, the former Bayern defender, who finished his first season at Real Madrid with the title of Spanish and European champion, is the most well-known of the Austrian players, it is the team that puts forward the most. Blues.

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Bad memory of 2008

It has been almost 12 years since the French team lost contact with Austrian football, and they last returned to Vienna. In the final clash at the same Ernest-Happel Stadium – 1-3 defeat in September 2008, in a World Cup qualifier – Hugo Lloris was still number two with the Blues, and Karim Benzema was at the forefront of the team. Attack, Thierry Henry, Sidney Gove, Nicholas Analka or Florent Malouda. However, it was not the magnificent Austrian “Wonderteam” of the 1930s, but the Blues of the Domene, the end of an elimination in the first round of the Euros, in the hollow of an undeclared wave. Upcoming Storm: Henry’s hand against Ireland in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, after all … Nice’s strike on South African soil.

Deschamps knows Griezmann well

When asked again about the difficulties of Antoine Griezmann, Didier Deschamps defended a man who had played 63 games in a row for the French team but had not scored in five matches. This is his longest drought since the period between June and November 2019 (7 games without scoring).

“I know him well and he was often on the France team for his achievement. There, he does not live his best period, and has a physical and mental part. He suffered his first injury this season (along with Athletico). I’m not saying it’s obsolete, but it can explain some things. But I’m not going to question what he can do, I know what he can bring to the community. ⁇

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Called the 100th Connaught from Deschamps

If Liverpool defender Vienna plays the Blues for the first time this Friday, he will become the 100th different player to wear the rooster’s jersey of the Deschamps era, which began about ten years ago. July 8, 2012. One hundred players in ten years, this is a sign of the real openness of the coach, the amazing reservoir of French football.

No: 50

France, who have scored at least once in their last 22 matches, have scored 50 goals this season. According to Opta, this is the longest series in its history. The Blues’ last goalless draw comes from a friendly defeat to Finland (0-2) on 11 November 2020 in Stade de France.

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Hugo Lloris: “We are looking for a good balance, but in any system, if we have a little difficulty physically, it is more difficult to show intensity in passing and running. ⁇

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