The Euro U21 finals begin on Monday, with the Bleuets facing the Netherlands in the quarter-finals in Budapest (Hungary).
We had left them with a victory for the last group game, on March 31. Several weeks later, the Bleuets resume their Euro hopes to play in the final phase, from Monday, May 31, against the Netherlands, at 6 p.m. A meeting to follow live on France 4 and france.tv.
To qualify for the quarter-finals, the Bleuets were second in their group, behind Denmark, against whom they lost on their entry into the competition (0-1). They then won against Russia (2-0) and Iceland (2-0).
Even if the Espoirs will be deprived of Jules Koundé, called up for the A by Didier Deschamps, the Bleuets squad arrives with solid arguments. Sylvain Ripoll called on several players already summoned in Blue, such as Houssem Aouar, Eduardo Camavinga, Jonathan Ikoné and Dayot Upamecano. The coach also counts on Aurélien Tchouaméni, elected best hope in Ligue 1, Amine Gouiri, author of 12 goals in Ligue 1 this season, and Odsonne Edouard, scorer 16 times in Scottish D1 with Celtic Glasgow. The midfielder is also well supplied with the convocations of the neo-champion of France from Lille Boubakary Soumaré or the promising Lyonnais Maxence Caqueret.
Among the 23 players selected to play in these final stages, four will ultimately not join Les Bleuets. Nantes’ Alban Lafont and Randal Kolo Muani were left at the disposal of FC Nantes, which played in the Ligue 1 play-offs on Thursday 27 and Sunday 30 May. They were replaced respectively by Stéphanois goalkeeper Etienne Green, a sensation at the end of the season, and by Lensois Arnaud Kalimuendo. In defense, Wesley Fofana was injured with Leicester. He is replaced by Monegasque Axel Disasi. And Rennais Adrien Truffert, also injured, is replaced by Montpellier Nicolas Cozza.
The young Oranje finished first in their group in the group stage, ahead of Germany, thanks in particular to a card against Hungary (6-1). They have in their ranks known heads in Ligue 1: Lille Sven Botman and Parisian Mitchel Bakker. In attack, they can also rely on Justin Kluivert, son of legend Patrick Kluivert.
If the Bleuets eliminate the Netherlands, they will find the winner of the Denmark-Germany confrontation in the semifinals. France has not won the Under-21 Euro since 1988.
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