already qualified, why the French team must finish among the top five in the qualifiers

If they win against Gibraltar on Saturday, the Blues can considerably reduce the risks of a tough draw.

Heading to Germany in June, but via which route? This is the whole question of this November international break for the France team. Already qualified for Euro 2024 which will take place next June across the Rhine, the Blues have not yet quite finished the job in their qualifying group B. When it comes time to host Gibraltar, Saturday November 18, in Nice, then to challenge Greece in Athens on Tuesday, the world vice-champions must now simplify their task as much as possible by seeking top seed status.

Candidate for the European coronation next summer, the Blues must score as many points as possible to ensure they finish first in their group and thus appear among the top five (out of 10 groups). This would allow them to secure their place in the number 1 pot during the Euro 2024 draw, scheduled for December 2, in Hamburg.

Avoid Germany and other big names

With 18 points collected out of 18 possible, the French team is – for the moment – in this group of five, alongside Portugal, Belgium, Spain and England. Five nations which would then be seeded for the draw, alongside Germany, the host country. In other words, the Blues would thus avoid crossing swords with these formidable opponents.

With Portugal (9/9), the French are the only ones to have achieved a flawless performance in these qualifiers (6 victories in 6 matches). A victory against Gibraltar (198th team in the Fifa ranking out of 200) is enough to finish among the top five in the qualifying phase.

This seeded status would be all the more delicious for Didier Deschamps’ men as the Blues have only known it twice since the introduction of the hats in 1996: in 2004 (as title holders) and in 2016 ( host country). In 27 years, the French team has been placed three times in hat 2, three times in hat 4, which has sometimes offered it strong groups.

The latest Euro, played in the summer of 2021, is a good example. Placed in hat 2 although reigning world champions, the French had inherited Germany, Portugal and Hungary. In 2012, they were spared despite their rank (hat 4), with England, Ukraine and Sweden. Another memory, more painful: Euro 2008, with the Blues vice-world champions but placed in hat 4 then in the group with the Netherlands, Italy and Romania.

By securing top seed status, the Blues would maximize their chances of avoiding a big one for the group stage of Euro 2024. But, zero risk does not exist.

source site-18