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Will Kylian Mbappe play for France against the Netherlands at Euro 2024 today?

Will Kylian Mbappe play today? Can he wear his mask?
© Reuters
Sports Mole looks at whether Kylian Mbappe will play for France at Euro 2024 today after his broken nose against Austria.

Rather than smashing the ball into the back of the net during France's opening Euro 2024 match against Austria, Kylian Mbappe smashed his face into the shoulder of Kevin Danso, receiving a gruesome broken nose for his troubles.

The Real Madrid-bound attacker had provided the assist for the pivotal goal in Les Bleus' 1-0 win - his cross was deflected into the Austria net by Maximilian Wober - before spurning a glorious opening to double his nation's lead, sending a one-on-one chance wide.

However, that miss was soon forgotten about when Mbappe sported a bloody nose and shirt after colliding with Danso, and he subsequently took another one for the team, coming back onto the pitch without permission and receiving a booking in order to allow Didier Deschamps to make his substitutions.

France still held out for all three points in their opening tie, but concern immediately turned to the stricken Mbappe, who immediately disappeared down the tunnel to receive treatment for his fracture.

Will Mbappe play for France today? What has Didier Deschamps said?

France forward Kylian Mbappe after suffering broken nose against Austria on June 17, 2024.© Reuters

Bleus boss Didier Deschamps confirmed relatively quickly that Mbappe had broken his nose, although as the Frenchman did not sustain a head injury, he would not have been required to follow concussion protocol.

Such rules would have prevented Mbappe from playing against the Netherlands in Friday's second Group D match, which kicks off at 8pm local time at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig, and a win in that match will send Les Bleus through to the last 16.

French media immediately reported that Mbappe would not be fit for the clash with the Dutch, but he has since been mended by the medics and has trained with his protective mask, made specially for him.

Deschamps faced the media on Thursday and gave the latest on Mbappe's condition and was upbeat about the 25-year-old's chances of facing the Netherlands, saying: "Everything is going in the right direction after this big shock with its consequences.

"Yesterday he went out, did a little activity. This will also be the case this afternoon. He is moving in the right direction to ensure that he is available tomorrow. He will definitely wear a mask. When, where, you have enough leaks to know."

Mbappe is expected to be named in the matchday, squad, but on Friday afternoon - mere hours before kickoff in Leipzig - a report from L'Equipe has now claimed that the 25-year-old will be on the bench rather than in France's starting XI.

That is not to say that Mbappe cannot make an impact off the bench if things go pear-shaped for France, but Deschamps has seemingly avoided taking a risk with his star man from the first whistle, an understandable move given his wealth of attacking options in reserve.

Can Mbappe wear his mask at Euro 2024?

France's Kylian Mbappe wears a protective mask during training on June 20, 2024© Reuters

As Deschamps alluded to in his press conference, Mbappe will not be permitted to play without some sort of mask, and he was seen sporting a striking variation of that protective gear in training on Thursday.

The striker's aid was embellished with the blue, white and red colours of the French flag, in addition to their distinctive Gallic Rooster crest, the initials KM and the number 10 sandwiched in between two stars.

However, due to UEFA rules on medical equipment, Mbappe will not be able to face the Dutch with his training mask, as the governing body state that such gear "must be a single colour and free of team and manufacturer identification" in their official regulations.

As a result, the ex-Paris Saint-Germain attacker will only be given the green light to play with a plain covering of one colour, but the French Football Federation have apparently given assurances that they have plenty of suitable masks ready and waiting for the attacker.

Who could replace Mbappe for France?

France striker Olivier Giroud warms up in September 2023© Reuters

While all the signs seem to be pointing towards Mbappe at least being part of the squad for France's clash with the Netherlands, he will likely be watching the first hour - at the very least - from the comfort of the dugout.

Luckily for the Bleus boss, he has a wealth of offensive talent at his disposal ready and waiting to step in for their stricken teammate, including all-time leading men's goalscorer Olivier Giroud.

The Los Angeles-bound veteran was Mbappe's replacement for the dying embers of the win over Austria and would be a straight swap in the final third, as his compatriot started as the number nine on Monday.

Alternatively, Randal Kolo Muani - Mbappe's former teammate at PSG - could be given the nod in the striker's spot, as could Marcus Thuram, who began on the left in France's opening group fixture.

Should the Inter Milan forward switch to a central position or be dropped completely, Bradley Barcola - who has supposedly been seen working in a front three with Giroud and Ousmane Dembele in training - could earn his full France debut, while Kingsley Coman is another option.

French media have since reported that Thuram will be tasked with filling Mbappe's boots in the number nine slot, although he work in tandem with Antoine Griezmann, potentially operating in an out-and-out attacking role as opposed to his usual number 10 slot.

A switch to a 4-4-2 of sorts would supposedly then see Dembele and Adrien Rabiot function on the wings, with N'Golo Kante and the fit-again Aurelien Tchouameni - now fully recovered from a foot problem - operating in the middle.

Following Friday's fixture with the Netherlands, Deschamps's men close out Group D against Poland at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund on June 25.

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France manager Didier Deschamps on June 17, 2024 [IMAGO]
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Euro 2024 fixtures header
Sunday, July 14
Tables header RHS

Group A

Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

Q Spain Spain33009
Q Italy Italy31114
3 Croatia Croatia30212
4 Albania national flag Albania30121

Group C

Q England flag England31205
Q Denmark Denmark30303
Q Slovenia Slovenia30303
4 Serbia Serbia30212

Group D

Q Austria Austria32016
Q France France31205
Q Netherlands Netherlands31114
4 Poland Poland30121

Group E

Q Romania Romania31114
Q Belgium Belgium31114
Q Slovakia Slovakia31114
4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

Group F

Q Portugal Portugal32016
Q Turkey Turkey32016
Q Georgia Georgia31114
4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121

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