Football News: Kylian Mbappé Could Feature Against Netherlands in Euro 2024 Qualifier

In a surprising turn of events, France manager Didier Deschamps has suggested that Kylian Mbappé could be available for their Euro 2024 qualifier against the Netherlands on Friday. Mbappé suffered a broken nose in France’s match against Austria on Monday, but he has not required surgery, and Deschamps is optimistic about his captain’s involvement in the rest of the group stage.

Deschamps confirmed that a custom-made mask will be fitted for Mbappé to allow him to return to the pitch. The Real Madrid forward was limited to non-contact exercises at training on Wednesday but returned to full training on Thursday before the clash with the Netherlands in Leipzig.

“I can confirm that Kylian is feeling better,” Deschamps said in his pre-match press conference. “Everything is going in the right direction after this major shock he had, with the consequences, of course. Yesterday [Wednesday] he was able to go out and do some activities. It is the same case tonight [Thursday]. It has evolved in the right direction to ensure that he can be available tomorrow.”

The upcoming political vote in France, with President Emmanuel Macron calling a snap election, has been a topic of discussion surrounding the national team, but Deschamps insists it has not been a distraction.

“Before the first game [against Austria], at the first press conference seven and a half of the eight questions were not about football,” Deschamps said. “Maybe people are trying to use this, use Kylian to drive debate. It is not creating disruption in the group. Things are happening as best as they possibly can. Kylian is with the team. Within the group we are calm.”

Antoine Griezmann, who could captain France in Mbappé’s absence, emphasized the importance of not comparing the 25-year-old with other decorated players.

“I think Kylian is living his own career, what Cristiano [Ronaldo] is doing is unprecedented but you need to see them as two separate people and stop trying to compare different players, even Leo [Messi] as well,” Griezmann said.

As for the Netherlands, they could welcome back the Ajax striker Brian Brobbey, who missed their opening-round victory over Poland. Ronald Koeman must decide whether to promote Burnley’s Wout Weghorst to his starting lineup after his late winner in Hamburg.

France have won seven of their past eight meetings with the Netherlands, and Deschamps is confident about his team’s chances.

“Our first objective is to create issues for them on the pitch and then to limit their offensive play. We expect to have the ball more than the opponent – that is what we hope – and we have to make them suffer as well, that’s my objective,” Deschamps said.

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