France will look to improve their poor start to their Uefa Nations League campaign when they travel to the Ernst-Happel-Stadion to take on Austria on Friday evening.
Das Team will be relishing the chance to return to winning ways after they failed to secure back-to-back wins in the group following their 2-1 defeat to Denmark at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion on Monday evening.
The French national team are hoping to bounce back and claim their first win after they were held to a 1-1 draw against Croatia after Adrien Rabiot’s 52nd-minute goal was cancelled out by a late equaliser from Andrej Kramaric at the Stadion Poljud on Monday evening.
Austria comes into the match sitting in second place in the Group A1 standings with three points after two matches, while France finds themselves sitting in third place – level on one point with fourth-placed Croatia after two matches.
France manager Didier Deschamps says: “It’s a great competition. We had the pleasure of winning the last edition. It’s always better than friendlies. But the timing isn’t ideal because we’re at the end of the season. There’s fatigue and some wear and tear, it’s not ideal but that’s the calendar.
“The bodies have to be managed as well as the psychological aspect. It’s obvious that not everyone is at 100%. We’ll only have one more international break in September before the World Cup. We’re adapting. It’s the same for all of the national teams.”
Coming into this fixture, France has dominated Austria in head-to-head stats and in their last five games the French side have won four out of five matches to Austria’s one victory.
Ralf Rangnick is expected to be without the services of defender Philipp Lienhart, who is out with the flu, while midfielder Hannes Wolf is sidelined with a back injury.
Didier Deschamps has no injuries or suspensions on the card. He will most likely welcome back star man Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe back into the starting lineup after they were named on the bench in their last match against Croatia.
Players To Watch:
Xaver Schlager: The VfL Wolfsburg midfielder has been one of Austria’s standout performers in the competition as he managed to find the back of the net in their defeat to Denmark in their last group stage match.
Karim Benzema: In his last five international appearances the Real Madrid forward has bagged six goals between the 50th and 70th minute for the French national team, while also scoring in their opening match against Denmark.