Euro 2024 day eight: France wait on Kylian Mbappe ahead of Netherlands clash

Kylian Mbappe remains the main talking point as France attempt to book their place in the last 16 at Euro 2024.

The French face the Netherlands in Group D on Friday evening, with boss Didier Deschamps yet to make a decision on whether to involve his skipper after he broke his nose against Austria on Monday.

Elsewhere, the Austrians and Poland will attempt to open their respective accounts when they meet in Berlin, while Slovakia bid to join Germany and Spain in the knockout stage by securing a second victory of the tournament against Ukraine.

Here’s a look at day eight of Euro 2024.

The man in the mask

France superstar Kylian Mbappe is facing a race against time to be fit for the clash with the Netherlands in Leipzig.

The 25-year-old trained wearing a protective mask on Thursday.

Head coach Didier Deschamps said: “This is moving in the right direction to ensure that he is available tomorrow.”

Poland and Austria, who lost to the Dutch and the French respectively in their opening fixtures, meet in Berlin knowing defeat could be fatal.

No time to party

Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona has told his players to forget their victory over Belgium as they attempt to seal their passage by repeating the feat against Ukraine in Dusseldorf.

Calzona said: “I don’t think it was difficult to prepare the players mentally. The euphoria lasted a few hours, but three points will definitely not be enough to advance.

“There is no reason to celebrate yet. We are fully focused on the match.”

Opposite number Serhiy Rebrov has given his team similar advice, if for very different reasons after their 3-0 defeat by Romania.

Rebrov said: “We need to respect and support the team. There will be mistakes – it’s unavoidable. We have to forget the Romania game and go on the pitch with a new level, showing what lessons we learned.”

England expects (much, much more)

England’s status as one of the pre-tournament favourites took another hit as they turned in a lacklustre display to draw 1-1 with Denmark in Frankfurt on Thursday evening.

Gareth Southgate’s men were booed off the pitch after Harry Kane’s goal had been cancelled out by Morten Hjulmand’s piledriver, although it was the manner of the performance rather than the result which gave such cause for concern.

Nevertheless, they remain top of Group C, two points ahead of the Danes, and will secure top spot if they get a victory over Slovenia, who conceded a stoppage time goal to draw 1-1 with Serbia, in Cologne on Tuesday.

There were no such difficulties for Spain, who joined Germany in the next round after a 1-0 win over Italy thanks to Riccardo Calafiori’s own goal.

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Who’s up next?

Slovakia v Ukraine – 2pm

Poland v Austria – 5pm

Netherlands v France – 8pm


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