In the build-up to their Euro 2024 curtain-raiser against Austria, France manager Didier Deschamps is grappling with familiar tactical questions as his squad prepares for battle at the Dusseldorf Arena on Monday.

N’Golo Kante, the linchpin of Les Bleus’ midfield, is poised to anchor the team in the absence of Aurelien Tchouameni, whose injury has sidelined him for the tournament.


Alongside Kante, Eduardo Camavinga is set to make his return to the national team after a two-year hiatus, providing a youthful complement to Kante’s seasoned experience.

However, it is in the attacking third where Deschamps faces his most pressing decisions.

The electric Kylian Mbappe, a perennial star, is recovering from a minor virus that kept him out of Thursday’s training session along with Kingsley Coman. Despite this setback, indications from the French camp suggest Mbappe is likely to be fit for the opener against Austria.

The dilemma for Deschamps lies in how to best utilize Mbappe’s talents. The 25-year-old has often excelled in a central striking role, but Deschamps must weigh this option against pairing Mbappe with the seasoned Olivier Giroud.

Giroud, now 37, may not be at the peak of his powers but has been a reliable option for France, especially in tournament settings where his aerial prowess and hold-up play have proven invaluable.

In recent tournaments, the combination of Mbappe and Giroud has been a formula for success for Les Bleus, offering a blend of speed, technical skill, and physical presence that unsettles opposing defenses.


Yet, with Marcus Thuram also in contention for a starting role, Deschamps has no shortage of attacking options.

Defensively, France will be without the services of Lucas Hernandez, paving the way for his brother, Theo Hernandez, to slot in at left-back.

Alongside him, Ibrahima Konate is expected to edge out William Saliba for a starting spot in central defense, partnering with Dayot Upamecano to form a formidable backline in front of goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

Meanwhile, Austria, missing their talisman David Alaba due to injury, will rely on experienced figures like Marcel Sabitzer and Marko Arnautovic to lead their charge.

Under the guidance of manager Ralf Rangnick, Austria is likely to deploy a structured 4-2-3-1 formation, with Christoph Baumgartner playing a pivotal role as the creative hub in midfield.

As the countdown to kickoff continues, all eyes will be on Deschamps’ final lineup announcement.

The balance between experience and youthful exuberance, tactical flexibility, and defensive solidity will be pivotal as France aims to start their Euro 2024 campaign on a winning note.

The clash between France and Austria promises to be an intriguing battle of contrasting styles and strengths, set against the backdrop of high expectations for the reigning world champions.

For Deschamps and his men, navigating these early challenges could set the tone for their quest to add a European title to their illustrious resume.

The match kicks off at 8pm BST on Monday, June 17, 2024, at the Dusseldorf Arena, with fans eagerly anticipating the start of another thrilling chapter in European football history.