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The recipe for success against France: “maximum intensity” as…

The recipe for success against France: “maximum intensity” as…

Ralf Rangnick has come up with a game plan against tournament favorites France. “We know what it takes,” the team boss confirms.

The biggest possible test awaits Austria on Monday evening (9pm, live on ServusTV, ARD) in Düsseldorf at the start of the European Championship. Ralf Rangnick's selection looks ready for a duel with world runner-up champion and tournament favorite France. “It is clear that we are not favourites,” Rangnick said before the first final of his career as coach of the team. “But that doesn't mean we don't think we have a chance.”

ÖFB are confidently approaching seven consecutive international matches without defeat. “But I know that we have to exceed our best performances in order to win this match,” Rangnick emphasized. It is important to allow as few scoring chances as possible for the French. “I am convinced that we are capable of doing this, and that we are capable of playing at this level. In the end, it is about what we will present on the field.”

The question is in the center

Rangnick relies on pressing football. The German does not want to throw the plan out there against the world number two. He added: “We already know what to expect and what it will require of us. You have to be physically able to perform at the highest level for more than 90 minutes.” Rangnick: “We need maximum strength when playing against the ball, and at the same time, it is also about the phases of getting possession of the ball and then handling it carefully.”

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What role will Konrad Laimer play?GEPA Images/Johannes Friedel

This could talk about Florian Grealish in the starting lineup. The Hoffenheim player is considered a haven of calm and a safe crossing point in the defensive midfield. Replacing the injured Xaver Schlager appears to be the only position open in the ÖFB squad. As a replacement for Grealic, Rangnick could also order one of his leading players Marcel Sabitzer and Konrad Laimer to move back into the midfield. This would free up a place on the wing for Patrick Wimmer or at most Romano Schmid.

According to Rangnick, there are no two opinions about the opponent: “France has the best squad of all the participants in terms of individual player quality, both at the top and deep. I don't see many people in the world who are so special in all positions.” In order to beat a team like this, you have to make up for some things. “We have to be stronger as a team, and we have to be better in the transition period. In the end, we have to be able to score goals and take advantage of opportunities in crucial moments.”

Broad chested

In their last 17 international matches, ÖFB have always managed to score at least one goal. Last time that wasn't the case: a 2-0 defeat to France on September 22, 2022 in the UEFA Nations League. The Austrians were not aware of Mbappe's qualities only from this duel. “He's still only one of eleven players,” Rangnick said of the exceptional France striker.

He added: “We have to be stronger as a team, and we have to be better in the transition period.”

Ralph Rangnick

The French have lost only two tests to European Championship hosts Germany since the 2022 World Cup final (1:2 and 0:2). Austria has suffered only one defeat in its last 16 international matches, in October in the European Championship qualifiers in Vienna against Belgium (2:3).

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Possible formations:

Austria: Bentz – Bosch, Danso, Weber, Moeni – Seewald, Grelich – Laimer, Baumgartner, Sabitzer – Gregoritsch.

France: Minyan – Conde, Umbakano, Saliba, T. Hernandez – Griezmann, Kante, Rabiot – Dembele, Thuram, Mbappe.

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