Mbappe France supporting cast GFXGOAL

Losing Kylian Mbappe is France's worst-case scenario - now inconsistent supporting cast must step up to keep Euro 2024 bid on track

This was surely a far cry from how Kylian Mbappe envisaged his return to the European Championship stage; yet to get off the mark in the continental tournament, he would have had Austria in his sights ahead of France's Euro 2024 opener. As it was, Les Bleus would require a first-half own goal to edge their Group D rivals, and their talisman was forced off after a sickening collision left him with a broken nose.

The French camp is now anxiously awaiting the prognosis of the injury, which may require surgery, with a blockbuster group-stage clash with the Netherlands to contend with on Friday. The worst-case scenario is that Mbappe will be sidelined until the quarter-finals, if France get that far, and he will need to wear a protective mask regardless.

But irrespective of whether he is available or not, the blunt performance against Austria demonstrated once again that the World Cup runners-up need their supporting cast to step up, and their skipper's potential absence will only intensify that need.

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