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Netherlands vs France – Combined XI ahead of Euro 2024 clash

The Netherlands and France go head-to-head in the group stage at Euro 2024 this evening, as two talented titans of international football compete for a place in the next stage.

Ability is not in short supply whenever the Dutch meet the French at a major tournament and we’ve decided to compile a Combined XI from the two squads.

Netherlands vs France – Combined XI ahead of Euro 2024 clash:

Goalkeeper: Mike Maignan – France

AC Milan feared the worst when homegrown hero Gianluigi Donnarumma ran his contract down at the San Siro, but the Italian’s exit has barely been felt courtesy of Maignan’s presence. The Frenchman arrived from Lille and won the Scudetto, alongside the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year award, during his debut campaign at the San Siro.

Twice named in the divisional Team of the Season in three campaigns at Milan, the 28-year-old has cemented his reputation as one of Europe’s best goalkeepers. He’s now France’s first-choice option, after the retirement of Hugo Lloris.

Right-back: Jeremie Frimpong – Netherlands

Jeremie Frimpong might have started the opening fixture on the bench for the Netherlands but he’s in at right-back in our combined XI.

The 23-year-old has been brilliant for Bayer Leverkusen this season, scoring 14 goals and providing 12 assists in a series of explosive performances from wing-back. Electric over the ground and impressive in the final third, he will hope to dislodge Denzel Dumfries in the Dutch team as the tournament progresses.

Centre-back: William Saliba – France

William Saliba is on the path to becoming one of world football’s best defenders. The 23-year-old was superb during Arsenal’s title challenge in the Premier League, as the Gunners boasted the best defensive record in the division for the second straight season. So comfortable has he has been, that Saliba believes he is beginning to instil fear into opposition forwards.

“In defence at Arsenal, I am one of the leaders,” Saliba said earlier this month.

“Van Dijk has aura, for example. He’s the boss, he orders everything. You feel that he scares the attackers. But I’m starting to feel the same way. I’m starting to see that the attackers feel fear.

“Sometimes when players are in your zone, they’re not having fun. And when there is a one-on-one and the player goes back, takes out the ball, flees the duel, that’s nice.”

Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk – Netherlands

The man Saliaba used as an example, Virgil van Dijk has held a largely unchallenged status as the world’s best centre-back in recent campaigns. The Dutch defender returned to his towering best for Liverpool in 2023-24 and captains the Oranje at Euro 2024 this summer.

A dominant duel-winning presence, his performances will be crucial to Koeman’s side and their chances of success.

Left-back: Theo Hernandez – France

Theo Hernandez earns the nod at left-back with the Frenchman a marauding presence for club and country. The 26-year-old can resemble a bullet train with his bursts forward from the back, charging into advanced areas of the pitch. Hernandez scored five times and laid on four assists for AC Milan last season, and has been named in the Serie A Team of the Year in each of the last four campaigns.

Midfield: Aurelien Tchouameni – France

Aurelien Tchouameni was named on the bench for France’s first fixture, perhaps a nod to the injury that ruled him out of the La Liga run-in for Real Madrid. The 24-year-old will be expected to return to the Les Bleus midfield with his presence and poise an integral part of their run to the World Cup final 18 months ago.

Midfield: Eduardo Camavinga – France

Eduardo Camavinga, like club teammate Tchouameni, will be hoping to break back into Didier Deschamps’s side this week.

It’s easy to forget the midfielder is still just 21, such is the maturity in his game. Whether at left-back or in a defensive-midfield role, Camavinga has impressed across three seasons at Real Madrid, earning two La Liga titles and two Champions League winner’s medals.

Midfield: Antoine Griezmann – France

Antoine Griezmann does not get the plaudits he perhaps deserved. A World Cup winner with France in 2018, he was man-of-the-match in the final win over Croatia, won the Golden Boot at Euro 2016, and has twice been on the Ballon d’Or podium. He’s not quite a midfielder, winger or forward, but a blend of them all, with a willingness to work tirelessly out of position to plug gaps all over the pitch.

Before March, he had featured in a world record 84 consecutive games for France. He might be nearing the end of his time with Les Bleus but he’s arguably been their most influential player over the last decade.

Right-wing: Ousmane Dembele – France

Improbably two-footed, direct, quick and skilful, Ousmane Dembele has it all when it comes to being an effective winger. Injuries have impacted his career continuously, but when fit and firing he can be a fantastic watch. A first season with Paris Saint-Germain in 2023-24 brought a Ligue 1 title and 14 assists in all competitions.

Left-wing: Cody Gakpo – Netherlands

Cody Gakpo started Euro 2024 with a crucial goal as the Dutchman looks to build on a breakout tournament at the World Cup in Qatar, where he scored three times for the Oranje.

A transfer to Liverpool followed that tournament and Gakpo scored 15 times in all competitions last season, playing a particularly prominent role in the Reds’ League Cup success. The 25-year-old has failed to find his true position at Anfield but excels from the left side for the Dutch. He has 10 goals in 25 caps for the Netherlands.

Forward: Kylian Mbappe – France

Kylian Mbappe is a doubt to feature after sustaining a broken nose against Austria, and his absence would be a major blow to Les Bleus. Arguably the world’s finest footballer, Mbappe won the Golden Boot at the 2022 World Cup – including scoring a hat-trick in the final – and has 47 goals and 34 assists in 80 caps for France.

He has six goals in five previous appearances against the Netherlands.

Read – Netherlands vs France – Five memorable games

See more – Netherlands vs France – Euro 2024 Match Preview

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