France vs Netherlands Preview: Les Bleus hope to take a step closer to Russia

France will hope to take a great step towards Russia with a victory over Netherlands at the Stade de France, kicking off at 19:45 BST on Thursday 31st August.

The hosts have accumulated 13 points from their six games so far in the World Cup Qualifiers, but have an inferior goal difference to Sweden, who they are level on points with. Meanwhile, the Dutch trail behind on 10 points and will be determined to avoid another defeat which could put their place at next year's tournament in serious doubt.

Dutch winger looking for an upset

Arjen Robben, the captain of the Netherlands, believes in his side despite being the underdogs.

Whilst acknowledging the capabilities of the hosts, saying "France have, in terms of quality, a really good team", he is also aware of his team's talents, telling journalists "we must be convinced of our own qualities and believe that we can beat them."

Previous Meetings

Les Bleus and the Oranje have met 25 times before, with 12 of those fixtures resulting in a victory for France whilst Netherlands have won on 10 occasions.

In the corresponding game for this World Cup Qualifier, Paul Pogba's spectacular long-range strike claimed the three points for France on 10th October 2016.

Team news

France's centre back Raphael Varane is missing through injury whilst teenage starlet Ousmane Dembele is also absent due to the preparation for his move to Barcelona from Dortmund.

Anthony Martial was deemed undeserving of a place in the squad, even after his bright start to the season with Manchester United, but Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe are all available for selection.

For the Oranje, Robin Van Persie's inclusion brings him back to the national team after nearly two years away. Although, Victor Janssen is a more favorable choice for Dick Advocaat's side as a result of his good recent form in international football.