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Euro 2024 Matchday 4 Predictions Including Austria vs France

Kylian Mbappe playing for France at Qatar World Cup 2022

Play on Monday, the 17th of June from Euro 2024 in Germany features the most recent World Cup finalists France against Austria, a battle of Eastern European regional teams, and potential tournament dark horses Belgium beginning their campaign against Slovakia. Our panelists offer all their predictions for the matches.

Austria vs France (Monday in Dusseldorf)

Steen Kirby: Unbeaten in five consecutive matches, but having not played a fixture since March, Austria are not an opponent that World Cup finalists and tournament favorites France can take lightly in the first match of Group D. Since losing that World Cup final on penalties, the star studded French side has only lost two matches, and both were against tournament hosts Germany. A dull scoreless draw against Canada is a concern but when your attacking 4 is Kylian Mbappe the new Galatico at Real Madrid, Marcus Thuram from Inter, Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid, and Ousmane Dembele of PSG, scoring goals really shouldn’t be a problem for Les Bleus. This side has a lot of experience playing together and a deep bench.

Austria will play with unity and discipline, but the discrepancy in game changers/star power with France is significant, this is a game where Austria will look to setup with a low block and try to remain in the game well into the second half for a points result, upsets are always possible, but France should come out firing and lay their marker down, they should win, but the margin will come down to how hard they push for subsequent goals. Prediction: France 3 Austria 1

Luka Foley: European giants France kick off their tournament against Ralph Rangnick’s Austria, who come into this match having won their last seven matches stretching back to October. However, their strong form will be tested with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele just a few of the names set to line up for Les Bleus, so Austria will need to have a perfect game if they’re to get something out of this match. Despite their good form, it’s tough to see how Austria can get anything out of this game and as a result, I think they’ll come up short. Prediction: France 3 Austria 0

Ben Gray: Group D looks very competitive, but we’re still forecasting that France will make a winning start at Merkur Spiel-Arena. Les Bleus have got all the way to the final at three of the last four major tournaments, with many tipping Didier Deschamps’ side for glory this summer too.

Since 2010, France have won ten of 18 major tournament group games, their only two defeats during this period coming in matchday three dead-rubbers, beaten by Sweden in 2012 and Tunisia a decade later, while les Bleus’ near-perfect qualifying record shows they are to be feared. Although, even if to a substantially lesser extent, so perhaps are Austria?

Under Ralf Rangnick, das Team have built serious momentum, winning six of eight qualifiers, defeating Germany 2-0 in Vienna before also smashing Türkiye 6-1, currently unbeaten in seven.

Two summers ago, they did hold France to a 1-1 draw at Ernst-Happel-Stadion in the Nations League, although the subsequent 2-0 defeat at the Stade de France emphasises the gap that exists between the pair. France have won 13 of their last 19 encounters with Austria, losing only three, a trend that’s likely to continue in Düsseldorf. Prediction: France 2 Austria 1

Romania vs Ukraine (Monday in Munich)

Steen: Unless you are a huge fan of Eastern European football or have ties to these nations, this is perhaps one of the most under noticed games of the Euro 2024 Group Stage, with that said, that doesn’t mean this will be a bad game. Romania qualified but has fallen off a bit in recent friendlies, 22 year old defender  Radu Drăgușin from Tottenham Hotspur is one of the few Romanian players to feature at a “big” European club while they have a number of players who play their club football in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Romania’s domestic league. Ukraine is 5-0-2 in recent matches, and has performed remarkably well while the nation is at war, despite many members of the squad hailing from regions that are currently occupied by Russia or on the frontlines of the war. The Ukraine squad features a mix of players who still belong to the top domestic teams in the country, and some plying their trade abroad including Real Madrid’s Andriy Lunin in goal and a front pair of attackers who play in La Liga and the Premier League. Romania will look to get points from this match, but Ukraine is the team that has a better chance of reaching the knockout stages. Prediction: Ukraine 1 Romania 0

Luka: Romania face Ukraine, hoping to hit the ground running ahead of what’s set to be a very interesting Group E, with Belgium and Slovakia their other two opponents in stage one of the Championships. Romania were no doubt one of the surprises of the qualification stage, topping their group ahead of Switzerland, not losing any of their ten matches. Ukraine on the other hand, are taking part this summer by virtue of winning their playoff matches, beating Bosnia and Iceland to book their ticket to Germany. Despite their impressive qualification performances, these two sides are still seen as the underdogs in the competition, but that shouldn’t stop them putting on a show. Prediction: Ukraine 2 Romania 1

Ben: We’re fully backing Ukraine to kick off their campaign with victory in Munich because, despite requiring the play-offs to get into this tournament, they are, put succinctly, a very strong team. During qualifying, Serhiy Rebrov’s side held both England and Italy to draws, only missing out on automatic qualification due to their inferior head-to-head record compared to the reigning champions. In fact, since exiting the last Euros in the quarter-finals, the Blue and Yellows have lost only five of 31 internationals, with a victory here putting them in a great position to reach the knockout stages once again.

Romania meantime are back at the Euros, having missed out on Euro 2020, actually topping their qualification group, leapfrogging Switzerland on the final matchday by prevailing 1-0 when the pair clashed at Arena Națională on the final matchday. However, subsequently, Edward Iordănescu’s side have failed to win any of their four friendlies, held to draws by Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and minnows Liechtenstein, both fixtures this month finished goalless, emphasising that they do often struggle for goals. Ukraine have won each of the last three encounters between the pair, and that streak is set to continue in Bavaria. Prediction: Ukraine 2 Romania 0

Belgium vs Slovakia (Monday in Frankfurt)

Steen: Pundits are unsure what to make of Belgium, Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois are gone, 31 year old Romelu Lukaku, 30 year old Yannick Carrasco, 32 year old Kevin De Bruyne, 35 year old Axel Witsel, and 37 year old Jan Vertonghen are still set to feature in a side that has players playing in leagues as diverse as the Premier League and the Saudi League. This side also has young talent, including 24 year old Lois Openda (RB Leipzig), and 22 year old Jeremy Doku (Manchester City), and they don’t lose that many matches. Playing the stronger attacking teams in the tournament with an aging and shaky backline is a major concern, but Slovakia is not one of those teams, veteran captain and defender Milan Škriniar of PSG is one of the few players on their side who plays at the very top level of European club football, expect Slovakia to adopt the style of many of the tier 2/3 nations in Euro 2024 and focus on defense first, while trying to score off of set pieces, counters, and mistakes by the opposition, but slowing down a Belgium side that is playing with house money looks difficult. Prediction: Belgium 4 Slovakia 1

Luka: Belgium vs Slovakia is the other game in Group E, with many seeing this as the last chance for Belgium’s “Golden Generation” to make their mark on the major stage. Kevin De Bruyne will captain his nation this summer, but he will have to step up without the likes of Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, two behemoth names for their country, who have retired and weren’t selected for the tournament respectively. Not many people will be giving Slovakia a chance here, with Belgium expected to take all the points here. Prediction: Belgium 3 Slovakia 0

Ben: Belgium are widely-expected to cruise through Group E, with a comfortable victory for the Red Devils very likely at Waldstadion. Domenico Tedesco is yet to taste defeat since being appointed manager, winning ten of 14 fixtures, most-notably beating Sweden in Stockholm, Austria in Vienna and Germany in Köln.

The Red Devils had reached the knockout phase at four successive major tournaments prior to the catastrophe in Qatar, but have still won 13 of their last 16 group phase games across World Cups and Euros, a record we’re expecting them to further improve in Frankfurt.

Slovakia meantime were impressive in qualifying, winning seven of ten outings, although they were beaten both times they encountered Portugal, showing their is still a large gulf between Francesco Calzona’s team and the very best. These two teams haven’t met for 11 years, Belgium winning a friendly in Brugge 2-1 back then, with a substantially more emphatic margin of victory expected at Deutsche Bank Park. Prediction: Belgium 3 Slovakia 0

Main image credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports


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