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With Mbappé back, France looks to lock up knockouts spot

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France looks to top Group D against a Poland side that cannot advance to the knockouts on Matchday 3 from Dortmund at UEFA Euro 2024.

You can catch France vs. Poland in Group D action from UEFA Euro 2024 LIVE on Tuesday with coverage getting underway at 11:45am et/8:45am pt on TSN1/3/4, streaming on TSN.ca and the TSN App.

Les Bleus head into the match level on points with the Netherlands atop the group on four. The winners of Group D will play the second-place team from Group F in the Round of 16, while the runners-up will take on the runners-up from Group E. Les Bleus need a single point to ensure passage into the knockouts.

Winners against Austria on Matchday 1, France seeks to bounce back from a disappointing scoreless draw against the Oranje on Friday. Didier Deschamps' side was, perhaps, fortunate to escape without a loss. While France had a majority of the best chances, it was the Netherlands who actually found the net in the 69th. Xavi Simons beat Mike Maignan from inside the area, but the goal was called back after a VAR review. Though Simons was well onside, Denzel Dumfries was not and he was adjudged to have been close enough to the Milan keeper to be interfering with the play.

Deschamps said he rued the lack of scoring touch after the match.

"I was happy with what my boys pulled out of the bag tonight, even though I was disappointed with our lack of efficiency in front of goal," Deschamps said. "There are a lot of positives to take away, and you have to consider the opponents, both of whom have been strong. But obviously, to win games you need to score goals. We'll be looking at that and hoping to improve for the next game so we can meet our objective of making it through to the next round."

France's lack of scoring touch was partially due to the absence of Kylian Mbappé, who will return on Tuesday. The Real Madrid star incurred a facial injury in the closing minutes of the Austria match. While he was dressed for the Oranje match, he did not feature. With a suspected broken nose, Mbappé will have to play with a protective mask.

“He is getting used to the mask," midfielder Aurelien Tchouaméni said on Sunday. "He, and we, obviously, would prefer he could play without it, but we don’t have a choice. We know that he’ll be ready. Nothing’s changed. We know he will bring a lot to the match if he plays.”

After losses to the Netherlands and Austria, Poland's Euro will be over after Tuesday's match. While the Eagles will undoubtedly be playing for pride, the game could carry extra significance. There is the chance that it will be the last match in a Poland shirt for the iconic Robert Lewandowski. Turning 36 in August, the Barcelona hitman has been noncommittal about his international future.

"I do not want to regret that I retired too early, when I still could have played longer," Lewandowski said of his future. "On the other hand, I do not want to struggle with that decision when that moment comes. As it stands it has not come yet. I need to feel it inside me. For sure, nobody will have any influence on. Just me and my family – no one from the outside."

The match will also mark a return to Dortmund for Lewandowski. The Warsaw native scored 74 Bundesliga goals in 131 appearances for Borussia Dortmund from 2010 to 2014. During his time with the team, Lewandowski won two league titles and a DFB-Pokal.

France is 9-5-3 all-time against Poland and has not lost against the Eagles since 1982. The two teams met in the Round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar where Les Bleus were 3-1 winners on a goal from Olivier Giroud and a brace from Mbappé. Lewandowski had Poland's consolation marker.

POTENTIAL FRANCE XI (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Jules Koundé, William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano, Théo Hernandez; N'Golo Kanté, Adrien Rabiot; Ousmane Dembélé, Antoine Griezmann, Marcus Thuram; Kylian Mbappé

POTENTIAL POLAND XI (3-5-2): Wojciech Szczesny; Jan Bednarek, Pawel Dawidowicz, Jakub Kiwior; Przemyslaw Frankowski, Piotr Zielinski, Bartosz Slisz, Jakub Moder, Nicola Zalewski; Karol Swiderski, Robert Lewandowski