Spain vs France, Euro 2024: Mbappe or Yamal; Top player battles and key match-ups in ESP v FRA semifinal

Here are the biggest player battles and key match-ups from the big semifinal clash between Spain and France.

Published : Jul 09, 2024 13:00 IST , CHENNAI - 1 MIN READ

France’s Kylian Mbappe.
France’s Kylian Mbappe. | Photo Credit: AP

France’s Kylian Mbappe. | Photo Credit: AP

Goal-shy France will be looking to silence the critics when it takes on Spain in their Euro 2024 semifinal clash on Tuesday in Munich, while its opponents hopes to keep its impressive campaign going even without key players.

With Kylian Mbappe leading its talented squad, France was well among the favourites when it arrived in Germany. But it has come under fire from fans and pundits alike for a string of unimpressive performances and has reached the last four without scoring a single goal in open play.

On the other hand, Spain will be without midfielder Pedri who sustained a knee injury in a nasty clash with Germany midfielder Toni Kroos in its dramatic win on Saturday.

Substitute Mikel Merino’s header in the 119th minute gave Spain a 2-1 win in a nerve-racking encounter that ended with 16 bookings including a yellow card for centre-back Robin Le Normand and a red for fullback Dani Carvajal, meaning both are suspended for Tuesday’s game.

READ FULL PREVIEW | France aims to silence critics against depleted Spain

Here are the biggest player battles and key match-ups from the big semifinal clash between Spain and France.


16-year-old teenage sensation Lamine Yamal has been amazing for Spain on the right wing but he will face arguably one of the best left-backs in the world.

Yamal is the joint assist leader of the tournament with three and has made 26 dribbles so far in the tournament making a force to reckon with on the flanks.

Theo has been lethal for France both on the attack and the back foot. He has recovered the ball 20 times, has made four blocks and has completed 12 clearances. Although he has done well since France has only conceded one goal, but his one-on-one tackling could be better. He has only won one tackle and hence Yamal could capitalise and take Theo Hernandez head-on.


Dani Olmo didn’t start the first two games of the tournament but after his start in the third match, he has scored two goals and provided and two assists in just 265 minutes. Olmo’s movement in the middle of the park and creative prowess has been key for Spain in the final third.

He has made 11 passes into the final third out of which seven have been into the penalty area and has a passing accuracy of 82.5 per-cent. However, Olmo’s movement will be restricted by none other than French work-horse Ngolo Kante. Kante’s pace and aggression defensively .

Kante has made three crucial tackles stopping goalscoring opportunities for his opponents and his work as a defensive midfielder has been key for France stellar defensive record. Olmo will not be given a lot of time on the ball which is why he will have to make use of his limited touches and create chances for Spain.


Spain’s right back Dani Carvajal has been suspended for the semifinal and it will be a major miss for La Roja especially since Kylian Mbappe will be playing on the left flank for France. He will be met by 38-year-old Jesus Navas and although the veteran Spaniard is quick, it will be extremely difficult for him to keep up with Mbappe’s pace and fitness.

Navas has only played over 95 minutes for Spain and is not its first choice fullback. Mbappe on the other hand is France’s main star forward and is an absolute unit when it comes to finding goals.

This battle could be a walk in the park for Mbappe and the deciding factor in the overall outcome of the match. Luis de la fuente will have to work around the backline and put more players around Mbappe to make sure the new Real Madrid signing is not left alone roaming and commanding the pitch.

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