In perhaps the most anticipated international friendly of the day, European powers collide when France host the Netherlands at Stade de France in Saint Denis in preparation for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
The Netherlands will look to build momentum after an impressive run in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The Oranje reached the final, only to be denied their first title by an overtime goal from Spain playmaker Andres Iniesta.
France, who won the World Cup on their home soil in 1998 and have two European Championships to their credit, left the 2010 World Cup in shambles, as the players publicly clashed with then-manager Raymond Domenech.
Both sides enter the friendly with some questions about the squad they plan to take to Brazil in June.
Dutch manager Louis van Gaal’s roster includes some rather inexperienced players for the trip to France. Midfielders Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord) enters with just six caps while Davy Klaassen (Ajax) is set to make his debut.
Continue Reading Below
Forwards Jean-Paul Boetius (Feyenoord) and Quincy Promes (FC Twente) will also make their debuts, and are joined by starlet Memphis Depay (PSV Eindhoven), who has just three caps.
The Netherlands will have young goalkeepers Ajax Jasper Cillessen and Jeroen Zoet of PSV on the squad, with Maarten Stekelenburg and Tim Krul not included on the 33-man squad.
However, Van Gaal will still have notable names at his disposal as he looks to build a squad for Brazil. Arjen Robben, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Dirk Kuyt, and Robin van Persie have all been named to the roster.
Les Bleus will also showcase some new players, as Didier Deschamps looks to put France’s disappointing 2010 World Cup behind them.
Forward Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad) and left back Lucas Digne (Paris Saint-Germain) will make their debuts. Midfielder Josuha Guilavogui (Saint-Etienne) was called up after Rio Mavuba (Lille) had to be replaced due to injury.
Digne’s inclusion might be the biggest surprise. The 20-year-old has been used sparingly by Laurent Blanc at PSG.
While Manchester City's Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri were not selected, Deschamps will still have several high-profile players on his roster, including Franck Ribery, Mamadou Sakho, and Karim Benzema. Top goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda have also been included.
France have a relatively weak group with matches against Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras. The Netherlands will face defending champion Spain, as well as Australia and Chile in group play.
PREDICTION: France 1 -1 Netherlands
Where to watch: The match will kick off at 3 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by Univision Deportes, with a live stream available on ESPN3.