thumbnail Hello,
Live

Friendlies

  • 5 March 2014
  • • 20:00
  • • Stade de France, Paris
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 80000
2
FT
0

France-Netherlands Preview: World Cup hopefuls face off in Paris

France-Netherlands Preview: World Cup hopefuls face off in Paris

Didier Deschamps is set to blood youngsters against Oranje, who have named five uncapped players in their ranks for the game in Saint Denis

Antoine Griezmann could be given the chance to impress potential suitors on the international stage when France face Netherlands.

Griezmann was named in the France squad by coach Didier Deschamps last week, earning a call-up for the first time in his career after displaying excellent form for Spanish side Real Sociedad.

The 22-year-old has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season, reportedly attracting the eye of Premier League clubs Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea in the process.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was quoted as confirming an interest in Griezmann on Monday, and the forward can expect to be in the spotlight as France continue their preparations for the World Cup against Louis van Gaal's side.

A strong performance from Griezmann would boost his hopes of heading to Brazil with his country, but he is not feeling any pressure ahead of the game at the Stade de France.

"A match for Brazil? No. I do not put any pressure on myself when I play games and even less so on Wednesday," Griezmann said.

"If I have the chance to play a few minutes, I will try to take full advantage."

Paris Saint-Germain defender Lucas Digne will also be keen to make an impact after being included in France's senior squad for the first time.

Digne's selection was seen as something of a surprise given the lack of first-team opportunities he has received since joining PSG from Lille in the close-season.

Yet the full-back will have the opportunity to prove his quality against a Netherlands squad that boasts five uncapped players.

Teenage defender Karim Rekik, on loan at PSV from Manchester City, is among those included, with goalkeeeper and PSV team-mate Jeroen Zoet also earning a call-up.

Twente talisman Quincy Promes is another Dutch player who could win his first cap, along with Feyenoord midfielder Jean-Paul Boetius and Ajax's Davy Klaassen.

Yet for all the youngsters named in his squad, Van Gaal will be able to call on experienced hands such as Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart, with the latter added to the squad after shaking off an ankle injury.

France and the Netherlands have met just three times since the turn of the century, with the Dutch winning two of those contests and drawing the other.

Their last meeting came at the 2008 European Championship when France suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat, with Sneijder scoring the final goal.

Deschamps is aware of the quality possessed by a Netherlands team that went unbeaten in qualification for the World Cup.

"Netherlands are among the best teams in the world," Deschamps commented. "They are younger but still have experienced players who play for top European clubs.

"We must maintain our form in a prestigious game against the Netherlands, because it will be essential for the [World Cup] games in Brazil."

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

France

Netherlands

Wins
2
1
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

France FRA
France France
Draw
Netherlands NLD
Netherlands Netherlands
35%
17%
48%

Top 3 Predictions

France FRA
2 - 1
Netherlands NLD
France FRA
1 - 2
Netherlands NLD
France FRA
0 - 2
Netherlands NLD

Related

From the web