Competition: European Championship 2016
Fixture: France v Romania
Date: Friday, June 10, 2016
Venue: Stade de France, Paris.
Kick off time: 9:00 pm, local time
The football bonanza in France will kick off on Friday, as the host nation will play Romania in the Group A of the Euro Cup 2016.
France’s form: W-W-W-W-L
Coming in with what is quite possibly their strongest squad in the recent years, Les Bleus look mighty strong and are certainly one of the favorite ones to win. Despite being ranked at the 17th place by FIFA at the moment, their force is definitely worthy to be at much higher ranks.
Didier Deschamps will be definitely pleased with the performance of his team in the recent months, having emerged victorious in all of them. Their build up to the Euro Cup has been full of goals, having defeated Russia and Cameroon in friendly matches by 4-2 and 3-2, and routing Scotland by 3-0 in their send off game.
With Karim Benzema not being included in the squad, the attack will be carried forward by the younger lads, who have proven their capabilities in the domestic leagues across Europe. With Olivier Giroud being the only one with considerable experience, his forward presence will be crucial to lead the 4-3-3 attack which France have been playing so well.
The only thing that may affect their performance is their defense, seeing that they haven’t been able to maintain a clean chit despite having Hugo Lloris man the goal. Apart from having Bacary Sagna and Patrice Evra leading the defense, Deschemps has had troubles to complete the formation. Jeremy Mathieu and Ralph Varane haven’t been able to provide solutions to his defending problem, and their absence from the squad means Laruent Koscielny will need to fill in regularly.
Romania’s form: W-L-D-D-W
After failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup and the Euro Championship prior to that, the management of the team decided to bring back Anghel Iordănescu to lead the team. Surprisingly enough, it has worked well for them as they made it a major tournament for the first time since 2008.
Apart from the experience and managerial skills which Anghel has brought in, the determination and hard work of the players has also paid off. They sent out a clear message to the other teams that they are not meant to be taken lightly. Not only have they gone undefeated in the Qualifiers, they have also maintained a clean chit in eight of the ten matches they played.
Their performance in the friendly fixtures was fairly average, until their final match against Georgia before the main tournament. Prior to that, they had lost to Ukraine by 3-4, but they stepped up brilliantly and fired five goals in their last game.
Romania have definitely got one of the strongest defenses in the competition, and their 4-2-3-1 formation doesn’t make it any easier for the others to crack. Their best hopes of scoring is on the counter-attack, but it certainly will be intriguing to see how well they hold up against the mighty French attack.
Key Players and Team News:
The hosts have got every reason not to pine for Benzema. Giroud has scored in last three of his four matches, and he appears to be in a sensational form. In addition to having the Arsenal man in the forward, Deschamps has got the option of picking from Anthony Martial and Kingsley Coman. The two 20-year-olds have managed to impress the selectors with their pace. The third pillar of attack is mostly likely to be completed by the Champions League runner-up Antoine Griezmann.
As for the midfield, Blaise Matuidi and Dimitri Payet are going to be important in aiding the strikers. Payet has been highly influential for West Ham United, and has also scored in a couple of matches like Giroud.
Ciprian Tătărușanu has done a sensational job as the side’s goalkeeper. It is important for the team that he carries the same momentum forward from his performance in the Qualifiers.
Coming to the second line of defense, Razvan Rat’s experience from featuring for the visitors in more than a 100 international matches will be crucial for the defenders. Vlad Chiriches will also need to step up and prevent the crosses from coming in.Their hopes are also relying on the young guns to click, particularly Nicolae Stanciu and Florin Andone, who have scored in the winning matches in the Qualifiers.
One can expect an easy win for the hosts. The Tricolorii will have to put up with the odd 80,000 fans supporting the Les Bleus, in addition to keeping the daunting France attack at bay. France start a rather short 3/10 (bet365) to win this while you can also expect for Giroud to be the anytime goal scorer at 6/5 (William Hill).