Football News: Saliba Unlikely to Start for France at Euro 2024 Opener

In a major development ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 tournament, French football expert Julien Laurens has revealed that Arsenal defender William Saliba is unlikely to start at center-back for France in their opening match against Austria.

Deschamps’ Defensive Options

Didier Deschamps’ side, one of the favorites to win the European championship this summer, boasts a wealth of defensive talent. Laurens hinted that Deschamps may opt for the pairing of Ibrahima Konate and Dayot Upamecano in the heart of the French backline for the clash against Austria on June 17.

Saliba’s Chances

Saliba, who enjoyed an impressive season with Arsenal in the Premier League, has only made eight starts for France across his 15 caps. Laurens explained that despite his recent performances, Deschamps still sees room for improvement in Saliba’s game, which could keep him on the bench for the opening fixture.

Potential France Lineup

Regarding France’s potential lineup, Laurens expects Deschamps to deploy a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation. The lineup could see Jules Kounde at a defensive right-back role, with Theo Hernandez operating as an attacking left-back.

In midfield, the return of N’Golo Kante, who has impressed in recent friendly matches, is likely to be a key factor. He could be paired with either Adrien Rabiot or Aurelien Tchouameni, with Youssouf Fofana expected to start against Austria.

Upfront, France boasts an array of attacking talent, including Kylian Mbappe, Marcus Thuram, Ousmane Dembele, and Kingsley Coman. Laurens believes Mbappe will play centrally, with Thuram on the left and Dembele on the right.

“As the two-time champions eye their first European glory since 2000, the competition for places in the French national team continues to be intense. The opening match against Austria will be a crucial test for Deschamps’ squad as they embark on their quest for Euro 2024 success.”

๐Ÿ”— Source