EURO 2024: Injured Mbappe and Tchouaméni set to miss France’s match against Austria on Monday

EURO 2024: Injured Mbappe and Tchouaméni set to miss France’s match against Austria on Monday

The new Real Madrid forward Kylian Mbappé's preparations for the Euro 2024 tournament have been hampered by fitness issues, while Aurélien Tchouaméni is also struggling with injury.

Mbappé will not be going into the 2024 European Championship in peak condition, with France sweating on the fitness of their captain ahead of their first game of the tournament against Austria on Monday 17 June.

The 25-year-old endured a difficult end to the club season with Paris Saint-Germain, missing several Ligue 1 fixtures due to injury. Having seemingly recovered, Mbappé then suffered more fitness issues in the friendly win over Luxembourg on 5 June, taking a blow to the knee and experiencing some back pain.

On Sunday, the forward was a substitute in France’s last pre-tournament friendly, a 0-0 draw at home to Canada in Bordeaux. He didn’t train the day before the game and head coach Didier Deschamps opted not to take any risks with his key man, although he did come on in the 77th minute.

Deschamps’ tactical plan for his captain is clear: free him from any defensive responsibilities and allow him to do as he wishes in attack. Antoine Griezmann and Marcus Thuram, likely to start alongside Mbappé in the final third, will do most of their teammates’ backtracking, allowing Madrid’s newest “galáctico” to concentrate on doing what he does best in opposition territory.

As has been witnessed in their two warm-up games, France revolved around Mbappé, which was evident even in the short tie he was on the field against Canada. However, they may have to revert to Plan B, with L’Équipe reporting he is some way off being match-fit, with the knee and back problems coming after a lack of game time at the club level.

The French newspaper claims Mbappé may not be 100% fit for the entirety of the group stage, in which the 2022 World Cup runners-up will face Austria, the Netherlands, and Poland. If France are to win the European Championship for the first time in 24 years, they could have to navigate the first phase, or at least part of it, without their talisman.

Mbappé's future club teammate Tchouaméni is an even bigger doubt for the tournament because of a foot injury.

The midfielder hasn’t played since Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final win over Bayern Munich on 8 May, missing the final victory against Borussia Dortmund.

Tchouaméni will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness in time to play, with Deschamps allowed to call upon a replacement up until France’s first game against Austria on 17 June. The suggestion is he won’t, and hope the 24-year-old is available later in the tournament.