21 Jun 2024, 09:34

France hoping to have masked Mbappe available against Dutch at Euro 2024

LEIPZIG, Germany, June 21, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - France coach Didier Deschamps is hopeful that Kylian Mbappe will be able to play in Friday's Euro 2024 clash with the Netherlands as he said the striker was making good progress in his recovery from a broken nose.

"Everything is going well. It was a heavy collision that he had, but he was able to come out and train yesterday and take part in some activities," Deschamps told reporters in Leipzig on the eve of the Group D encounter.

"That will be the case this evening too. Things are progressing in the right direction enough for us to try to have him available tomorrow.

"We will do what we can to have him available."

A short while after Deschamps spoke to reporters, Mbappe took part in the French team's training session wearing a striking protective face mask in the French colours of blue, white and red.

The 25-year-old France skipper suffered the injury in an accidental collision with Austria defender Kevin Danso late on in his team's 1-0 win in their opening game at the tournament in Duesseldorf on Monday.

Mbappe trained apart from his teammates on Wednesday while wearing a plaster on his nose and did not appear to be overly hindered by the injury.

The French Football Federation said following the Austria game that Mbappe would not require an operation and would be able to return to the pitch once he had been fitted with a mask.

Mbappe's teammate Antoine Griezmann insisted the new Real Madrid signing was "doing really well".

"The nose is a bit less swollen. We will wait until the last moment and see how he is feeling," Griezmann told reporters.

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman said his team's preparation would not be heavily influenced by the Mbappe situation.

"Deschamps will know if Mbappe will play or not, we will just have to wait and see," said the Dutch coach.

"France is such a strong team -- even if Mbappe is not playing his replacement will be a great player as well.

"We can't influence this, all we can do is influence our team and do the best that we can, and not everything depends on whether Mbappe is there or not.

"We know that he can be a game changer."

The Netherlands came from behind to beat Poland 2-1 in their opening match and Koeman was confident his team could step up a level against France.

"I can't predict everything but I have a good feeling, this match is a challenge," continued Koeman.

"Three points against Poland give us a bit of breathing space, we can be calm now.

"We want to get a good result, it's a challenge for us now and we need to be good. I'm really looking forward to it."


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