France state

MATCHDAY: Winless France take on Croatia in Nations League

Frenchman Kylian Mbappe, left, celebrates after scoring his team's first goal with Karim Benzema, center, and Moussa Diaby during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Austria and France at the Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna, Austria, Friday, June 10, 2022 (AP Photo/Michael Gruber)

Frenchman Kylian Mbappe, left, celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal with Karim Benzema, center, and Moussa Diaby during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Austria and France at the Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna, Austria, Friday, June 10, 2022 (AP Photo/Michael Gruber)

PA

A preview of what’s happening in European football on Monday:

LEAGUE OF NATIONS

Reigning champions France are under pressure as they host Croatia in a must-see fixture at the Stade de France. The Blues have picked up just two points from the first three League A games, where only the group winner reaches the Final Four and the bottom-placed side are relegated. France are last with two points. The Croats are tied with Austria for second out of four. They are two points behind Group 1 leaders Denmark, who host Austria in Copenhagen. France manager Didier Deschamps says Mike Maignan will start in goal ahead of long-serving number 1 Hugo Lloris. Deschamps may also have to drop first-choice striker Antoine Griezmann, who hasn’t scored for France since early January, and instead select Christopher Nkunku in attack alongside star duo Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe. It was Nkunku’s shrewd pass that secured Mbappe’s late equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Austria on Friday night. In the second division League B, Group 2 leaders Israel travel to Iceland. In League C, there’s a top-flight Group 3 clash as leaders Kazakhstan host second-placed Slovakia a point behind.

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