France take on the visitors Austria in the round 5 match of UEFA Nations League (League A). The match will be played on Thursday, September 22nd at Stade de France (Paris - Saint-Denis).
France are always among the favorites, the giants of European and world football. Moreover, this generation won the “gold” of the World Cup in 2018. And last autumn added another victory in the League of Nations. On the other hand, there are enough misfires in the performance of Didier Deschamps' wards. One more loss of points, and they will hold the next cycle of the League of Nations in Division B! In June, they could not win even once: they took 1 point in 2 matches with Croatia, lost at home to Denmark and did not win against the Austrians. If there is no victory now, then the favorite (and the current title holder!) will come up to the last round in 4th, last place. Yes, leaders such as Pogba and Benzema are injured, but Luca Hernandez, Lenglet, Kimpembe, Digne, Conate, Kante, Veretout, Coman, Ben Yedder and Martial simply cannot compete.
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Austria national team not so long ago had a strong, as for themselves, segment topped with a victory in their group in Division A of the last Nations League. But this year hasn't been very good. First there was a failure in the spring, in Wales, in the form of a lost play-off for a ticket to the World Championship. Then the new mentor, Ralf Rangnik, made a sensational debut with a crushing victory over Croatia, and these 3-0 were taken on the road. However, after that "Das Team" lost both fights to strong Denmark. But with the French at home there was a draw. Moreover, this favorite pulled out 1-1, thanks to the only goal of Mbappe in the 83rd minute. Now, in order not to fall into the 4th, relegated place, Austria need to somehow survive in Paris. And to do it without such important players as Kalajdzic, Bachmann, Lazaro, Dragovic, Laimer, Ilsanker and others, which for various reasons is out of the team.
In general, the French have a noticeable advantage in head-to-heads. But in the last 3 matches, the statistics are identical: 3-1 home wins and the mentioned draw in June. Bookmakers, of course, consider France as the unconditional favorite of the pair. But perhaps they overestimate its real potential? It is worth taking a closer look at the “+1.5 goals” handicap for Austria.
Prediction for the match: Austria to win with +1.5 handicap.