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Euro-2024: the Blues against the Netherlands, qualifications noted in sight

Six weeks before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Blues probably do not have these upcoming qualifiers as a priority.

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Euro-2024: the Blues against the Netherlands, qualifications noted in sight

Six weeks before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Blues probably do not have these upcoming qualifiers as a priority. But they now know what their year 2023 will look like.

From March and until November, the world champions therefore have an appointment for eight meetings across Europe, including trips to Greece and Ireland, but also an unprecedented opposition against Gibraltar.

But the duel against the "Oranje", in search of a trophy since Euro-1988, will undoubtedly be the highlight of the qualifying course of the partners of Kylian Mbappé.

- "Dense group", according to Deschamps -

"It's a fairly dense group, a valuable group," said coach Didier Deschamps at the microphone of the L'Equipe channel. "We will have to win and be better than our opponents, as usual."

At the end of the day, two tickets for Euro-2024 in Germany will go to the first two of this pool B.

Handicapped by their poor performance in recent months - only one victory in the last six matches - the French entered the ceremony in the N.2 hat, deprived of seeded status, as for the qualifications of the 2014 World Cups and 2018.

And inevitably, the risk of inheriting a flagship nation of the Old Continent was very real, at random salad bowls and balls, mixed on Sunday by the innocent hands of the former Mannschaft striker, Jürgen Klinsmann, and the ex-Italy defender Gianluca Zambrotta.

- Italy-England in high point -

The fears quickly materialized with this opposition against the Netherlands of Memphis Depay and Virgil Van Dijk, a much tougher opponent than Hungary or Poland, also seeded.

In the hat N.3, that of Ukraine, Sweden or Norway of Erling Haaland, it is finally Ireland that Antoine Griezmann and his partners will face, inevitably reviving the memory of the qualifying barrage at the World Cup-2010 , marred by a hand from Thierry Henry who had caused a lot of talk. Since then, the Blues have twice challenged the Irish, for two victories.

And in pot N.4, Turkey, the main threat already crossed on the road to the last Euro, was returned to the Croatia group, the Blues inheriting Greece, 2004 European champions in search of their past glory .

Group C will be the other attraction of this qualifying phase with an Italy-England clash, a remake of the Euro final won by the Italians on penalties. Ukraine is also in this difficult group.

Netherlands, Ireland, Greece, Gibraltar: Deschamps is fixed. But will the coach still be in charge of the Blues for a 5th qualifying phase of major competition? Much will depend on their performance in Qatar, as his contract expires in December, after 10½ years in charge.

Who will join Germany, who have already qualified as host country? In addition to the twenty tickets awarded via these qualifications, three nations will obtain their sesame in March 2024 during play-offs between twelve teams, on the basis of their classification in the League of Nations. The only certainty is that Russia will not be part of it: it was excluded after the invasion of Ukraine.

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