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France vs Belgium: UEFA Euro 2024 – BBC Sport – BBC

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Kylian Mbappe has scored one goal so far at Euro 2024
France captain Kylian Mbappe says he finds playing with a mask on "absolutely horrible" as he prepares to lead his side in their Euro 2024 last-16 match with Belgium on Monday.
The 25-year-old striker broke his nose in a collision during his side's 1-0 win against Austria in their opening game of the tournament.
He missed the goalless draw with the Netherlands but returned and scored as France drew 1-1 with Poland.
Mbappe wore a protective mask in that game but said he found it uncomfortable.
"I didn't think it would be, but playing with a mask is absolutely horrible," Mbappe said before the Belgium game in Dusseldorf.
"I have changed [the mask] because every time there was something that wasn't right.
"It is really difficult. It limits your vision and the sweat gets blocked up so you have to take it off to let it run away.
"As soon as I can take it off I will do, but I don't have a choice. That is how my tournament is going to be. I can only play like that.
"It is really annoying, but I have to just say thanks to the mask."
Mbappe's goal against Poland was a penalty, meaning France are yet to score from open play at the tournament.
"It's not the group matches anymore," boss Didier Deschamps said. "It's a new competition within the competition.
"You have to be efficient. To win matches, you have to score. That’s not done by snapping your fingers, but you need to move the cursor [closer to goal]."
These two sides met in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, with France winning 1-0 on their way to lifting the trophy.
Like Les Bleus, Belgium finished second in their group, drawing 0-0 with Ukraine to ensure progression.
Both sides are yet to click into gear, but Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco believes the chances they are creating means their luck will turn.
"The quality and quantity of chances we made in the first three games was unbelievable," he said.
"It is unbelievable that we scored only two goals in three games, and France too, but this is football."
Belgium were booed after the goalless draw with Ukraine, but midfielder Orel Mangala believes the fans will be behind them on Monday.
"I believe that has been cleared up," he said.
"I can understand that [reaction]. We we were all frustrated. Now we are facing a new match and I hope that all the fans stand with us and we'll play with a lot of imagination."
Mbappe is likely to start once again after playing the full 90 minutes and scoring against Poland while wearing a protective mask.
Antoine Griezmann dropped to the bench in that game and Deschamps may be tempted to bring him back into the first XI.
Dodi Lukebakio returns from suspension for Belgium.
The game kicks off at 17:00 BST and is live on ITV.
There will be full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Sounds with text updates on the BBC Sport website and App.
This will be France and Belgium’s 76th encounter. Belgium are France’s most frequent all-time opponent, having faced them nearly twice as much as any other team (39 meetings each with Italy and Switzerland). Meanwhile, Belgium have only faced the Netherlands (129 times) on more occasions than the French.
France have won all four of their previous matches against Belgium at a major tournament (World Cup and Euros), scoring 13 goals and conceding only three. Their only previous meeting at a Euros was 40 years ago, in 1984 – France won 5-0 in the group stages courtesy of a Michel Platini hat-trick and goals from Alain Giresse and Luis Fernandez on their way to their first European Championship trophy.
France scored just two goals in the Euro 2024 group stage, their fewest in a major tournament group stage since the 2010 World Cup (one). Their two goals came via a Max Wober own goal for Austria and a Mbappe penalty, having 47 non-penalty attempts without finding the net.
Belgium have advanced to the knockout stages of a third consecutive Euros, having reached the quarter-final at both Euros 2016 and 2020. The Red Devils have won their past four last-16 games at major tournaments (World Cup/Euros) since defeat to Brazil in the 2002 World Cup (0-2).
Last Updated 30th June 2024 at 23:36
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This will be France and Belgium’s 76th encounter. It’s France’s most frequent all-time opponent, having faced the Belgians nearly twice as much as any other team (39 meetings each with Italy & Switzerland). Meanwhile, Belgium have only faced the Netherlands (129 times) on more occasions than the French.
France have won all four of their previous matches against Belgium at a major tournament (WC + EURO), scoring 13 goals and conceding only three. Their only previous meeting at a EURO was 40 years ago, in 1984 – France won 5-0 in the group stages courtesy of a Michel Platini hat-trick and goals from Alain Giresse and Luis Fernandez on their way to their first EURO trophy.
France scored just two goals in the EURO 2024 group stage, their fewest in a major tournament group stage since the 2010 World Cup (1). Their two goals came via a Max Wöber own goal for Austria and a Kylian Mbappé penalty, having 47 non-penalty attempts without finding the net. Indeed, the only goal they conceded was a penalty, meaning their group games had 70 non—penalty shots overall without success.
Belgium have advanced to the knockout stages of a third consecutive UEFA EUROs tournament, having reached the quarter-final at both EUROs 2016 and 2020. The Red Devils have won each of their last four last 16 games at major tournaments (World Cup/EUROs) since defeat to Brazil in the 2002 World Cup (0-2).
France have drawn five of their last six UEFA EURO matches (W1), having only drawn four of their previous 25 games in the competition (W14 L7). Their round of 16 match at EURO 2020 was a 3-3 draw with Switzerland, eventually going out 5-4 on penalties.
Only Serbia (3.8%) had a poorer shot conversion rate in the group stage of EURO 2024 than both Belgium and France (both 4.2% – 2 goals from 48 shots). Indeed, Belgium have scored just three goals in six games across the last two major tournaments (2022 World Cup & EURO 2024), scoring from just 3.6% of their shots (3/83), and underperforming their expected goals by 6.15 (3 goals from 9.15 xG).
This will be France manager Didier Deschamps’ 15th match at the UEFA EURO as manager, taking him level with both Lars Lagerbäck (incl. games as joint manager) and Fernando Santos, with only Joachim Löw taking charge of more games at the EUROs (21 games). His seven wins are also only bettered by Löw (12).
During the group stage at EURO 2024, Belgium were the team with the highest share of their line-breaking passes being those that broke the opposition’s defensive line (18%). Indeed, Kevin De Bruyne broke the opponent’s defensive line on more occasions than any other midfielder in the group stage (11).
Kylian Mbappé netted his first ever goal at the UEFA EURO in the group stage against Poland. It took his tally to 13 goals across the EURO and World Cup, with only Michel Platini (14 in 19 games) ever scoring more for France across those two tournaments. Mbappé is also only two goals away from becoming the third French player to score 50 goals in all competitions, after Olivier Giroud (57) and Thierry Henry (51).
In the EURO 2024 group stages, N'Golo Kanté ranked top among his French teammates for chances created (7), tackles (7) and pressures applied (216), while he was joint top for interceptions (3) and line-breaking passes under pressure (15). He has also never ended on the losing side in a major tournament match for France (P18 W12 D6).
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