EURO 2016 – France
The expectations among local supporters are very high. The cue is taken from the winning campaigns earlier on home soil in 1984 European Championships and 1998 World Cup. Manager Didier Deschamps has one of the most talented squads at his disposal which is another cause of optimism among the local faithful. But, the team is also wary of the challenges that lie ahead and would want to avoid an early slip-up.
Who can forget what happened in 2002 World Cup opener! France were expected to cruise against lightweight Senegal. But what happened on the pitch was completely contrary to expectations with the French toppling down the disaster route. And Deschamps would be eager to avoid any such mishaps. However, the tournament format of 16 teams out of 24 progressing to knock-outs guards them against complacency. Of course, a good start would set the tone for the rest of the tournament for the French.
The team has to forget the fiasco around Karim Benzema and settle into their roles ahead of the major challenge. The presence of Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payet in the midfield is sure to raise eyebrows of all opponents while the dazzling Antoine Griezmann could prove a handful for any defence. Watch out for the Atletico Madrid forward!
EURO 2016 – Romania
Romania have slipped down the radar for a long time now and this is just their second major tournament appearance in the last 16 years. They had a decent qualifying campaign finishing in second place from Group ‘F’. The likes of Northern Ireland and Hungary were not threatening opposition but Romania showed that they are up for the fight with a comfortable run.
Their defensive setup is one of the meanest in the qualifiers having conceded just twice from their ten matches. If they can bring that form to Euros, France would be in trouble. But the worry for Romania is the lack of goals upfront although eight goals from the last two matches should be a comforting factor.
FRANCE vs ROMANIA - Betting advice
France have a great record against Romania staying unbeaten in nine meetings so far. But the Romanians have always been sturdy in defence with six of those games seeing fewer than three goals. France looks to have enough firepower to win by a couple of goals.