Men’s Olympics 2024 Group A teams and prediction: Will Thierry Henry guide France to glory?

The men’s Olympics 2024 Group A teams consist of hosts France, the USA, Guinea and New Zealand.

France, coached by Thierry Henry and Gael Clichy, are clear favourites to top the group and put their underwhelming Euro 2024 behind them, but the brightest young talent from Guinea, New Zealand and particularly the USA will be keen to spring a surprise on the hosts.

France are favourites in the Men's Olympics 2024 group a
France have a star-studded squad – Photo by Icon Sport

Men's Olympics 2024 Group A predictions

Group winners – France

France, for all their footballing pedigree, have only finished on the podium once at the men’s Olympic football tournament twice. That last happened when they won the tournament in 1984. They have only qualified for two of the last nine tournaments.

But Les Bleus are making sure they don’t fall short again this tournament, with a stellar squad.

Jean Phillipe Mateta will hope to continue his stellar goalscoring form from the end of the 2023/24 into the tournament, as will former teammate who has just joined Bayern Munich.

But the attacking riches do not end there. One of France’s three overage players is Lyon captain and striker Alex Lacazette, who has scored  goals in the last two seasons. He is joined by his uber-talented teammate, Rayan Cherki.

At the back, highly-rated RB Leipzig centre-back Castello Lukeba will be a challenge for any opponent to surpass. In midfield, Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Manu Kone will pull the creative strings.

Walker Zimmerman brings experience and quality to the American defence – Photo by Icon Sport

Runners-up – USA

We back USA to finish second in Group A, showcasing young talent ahead of the 2026 World Cup on home soil.

The Stars and Stripes boast Chelsea pair Gabriel Slonina and Caleb Wiley in goal and at left-back, as well as experienced centre-back Walker Zimmerman, who has 42 caps for the USMNT.

In midfield, 19-year-old prodigy Benjamin Cremaschi will hopefully have learnt a few tricks from Inter Miami teammate Lionel Messi.

And in attack, physically imposing striker Duncan Maguire will lead the line. The 23-year-old very nearly joined Blackburn Rovers in January 2024, but an administrative error on the part of the Lancashire club saw him stranded in Sheffield. The Orlando striker will be keen to get himself back in the shop window this tournament.

The USA have not achieved a podium finish in the tournament since 1902, but will seek to take inspiration from their women’s side, who have since won three gold medals.

Naby Keita could make the difference for Guinea – Photo by Icon Sport

Third place – Guinea

Guinea could well be a surprise package at this tournament, with bags of quality in the middle of the pitch, but we expect the USA to sneak ahead of them in this group.

Qualifying for the tournament via a 1-0 playoff win over Indonesia, Guinea are inexperienced at the Olympics, with just one 1968 appearance in the men’s football tournament.

Guinea will be captained by former Liverpool midfielder Naby Keïta, who is one of their three overage players. The Guineans have clearly bet big on midfield quality, with Abdoulaye Touré and Amadou Diawara their other two overage players.

In attack, 23-year-old striker Ousmane Camara will lead the line for his nation, having come to France as a refugee. In defence, great stock is placed in 19-year-old Auxerre defender Madiou Keita, who possesses a stylish

Fourth place – New Zealand

Rounding out Group A are New Zealand, who are without doubt the underdogs of the four teams competing for knockout qualification.

The All-Whites do not boast many familiar names, with all but two of their players playing domestically in New Zealand.

However, one of the exceptions to that rule is 23-year-old striker Riley Bidois, who plies his trade in the USL Championship for Virginian side Loudoun United. In three appearances at under-23 level, he has scored six goals.

New Zealand will be hoping to build on their Tokyo 2020 performance of sixth place, and will try to capitalise on the surprise element of their squad.

The USA could come up against a familiar face in Argentina and Atlanta United's Thiago Almada – Photo by Icon Sport

Group A Winners – Potential quarter final opponents

If they win the group as expected, France will face the runners up of Group B in the quarter finals, likely Morocco.

Should they qualify in second place, the USA can expect a tough draw against Group B’s winners, with World Cup champions and two-time Olympic gold medallists Argentina their likely opponent.

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.