France vs Luxembourg

France and Luxembourg are set to lock horns in their first meeting in seven years at Metz’s Stade Saint-Symphorien.

France’s pursuit of continental glory that has eluded them since hoisting the title at Euro 2000 comes off the back of an infamous 2022 World Cup heartbreak and an even more frustrating Euro 2020 last-16 exit against Switzerland. The joint-top favorites to conquer this summer’s tournament enjoyed a formidable Euro 2024 qualifying cycle, winning seven of their eight matches (D1), including an overwhelming 14-0 rout of Gibraltar. You’d expect another emphatic scoreline to be in store, yet ‘Les Bleus’ shockingly drew 0-0 with Luxembourg in their most recent home H2H in 2017. Didier Deschamps’ side will be out to avenge that disappointment after experiencing partial success across two March friendlies (W1, L1), both of which saw them concede precisely two goals, including a 2-0 loss to Germany.

Meanwhile, Luxembourg’s notable improvement in recent years has proved insufficient to earn them a place at a major tournament for the first time. Georgia’s 2-0 win in the Euro 2024 qualification playoff semi-final left manager Luc Holtz on the edge of despair, especially after his ambitions soared following a promising qualifying cycle. Indeed, Luxembourg left higher-ranked nations Iceland and Bosnia & Herzegovina in their wake. But the history books spell trouble for ‘Les Lions Rouges’ in this fixture as they’ve lost 16 of their 18 previous clashes against the French (W1, D1), not to mention only netted once in the last seven. Another ominous sign for the visitors is that their most recent trip to meet a side ranked inside FIFA’s top-10 yielded a humiliating 9-0 loss to Portugal.

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