France vs Romania Preview | Team News, Stats & Key Men

France vs Romania Preview | Team News, Stats & Key Men

France kickstart their Euro 2016 campaign at home against Romania in a bid to secure their third European Championship. This Didier Deschamps managed side is not short on talent and youthful energy and is considered favourites by many pundits and fans alike. Romania on the other hand are playing in their first major tournament since 2008 and will be keen to play spoilsport on the big evening.

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Team News

France

Didier Deschamps squad can compete with any other in the Euro 2016 in terms of quality, with the likes of Griezmann, Kante, Payet, Pogba, Martial all coming in the tournament on the back of a successful season with their respective clubs . There is a healthy competition amongst the players for the fighting spot, thus pushing them to give their best when given a chance. He is expected to field a 4-3-3 formation for the opening game with Kante, Pogba and Matuidi forming the all important fulcrum of the side.

Romania

Anghel Iordănescu’s men had an impressive record in the qualifications, conceding a mere 2 goals, the best amongst all the participating team. The team is expected to continue with their 4-2-3-1 formation for the game against France, with extra emphasis being laid on their defence. Given France’ strength in the midfield it is very likely that Romania could be forced into a 4-5-1 formation in order to salvage a result on Friday.

Expected Line-Ups

Lloris, Evra, Varane, Koscielny, Sagna, Pogba, Kante, Matuidi, Martial, Payet and Griezmann.

Tatarusanu, Rat, Chiriches, Grigore, Sapunaru, Hoban, Pintillii, Stancu, Popa, Stanciu, Andone.

Key Men

Paul Pogba

The dynamic French midfielder will play a crucial role in the side’s success in this tournament alongside his midfield companions Kante and Matuidi. The former Manchester United man has made rapid progress since leaving England and is currently touted to be the best central midfielder in Europe by many. He is technically sound, can find his team mates in critical area, has a good positioning sense, good vision and some extraordinary athleticism, making him the man to watch out for Romania. The dynamic midfielder has shown time and again that he can create time and space on the field and should Romania afford to lose him he could week havoc.

Florin Andone

The former Villareal man comes into the tournament on the back of an impressive year in the second division of Spanish Football. The 23 year old striker found the back of the net 21 times and has drawn interest from various La Liga clubs in the transfer window. Andone loves a challenge and would love to have a go at the French defence. Given his side’s reliance on a strong defence, it is unlikely that Andone will receive a great amount of creative support from his midfield and will need to capitalise on any half chances that come his way. He is fearless, has experience of playing in the top flight and his recent goal scoring record suggests that he definitely knows where the back of the goal is and the French defence should restrict the Cordoba man to ensure a healthy start to the campaign.

Interesting Facts

– Only 3 teams in the history of the tournament, Italy, Spain and France, have listed the trophy on the home soil. France were the last home team to win the tournament, when they emerged 2-0 victorious against Spain in 1984.

– The sides have met on 15 occasions in the past with France winning on 7 occasions compared to Romania’s 3 wins.

Form (Last 6 games)

France – WWWWLD

Romania- WLDDWD

Prediction

It will be a battle of France’s exuberance and dynamism against the muscle of the Romanian defence and we expect the French contingent to come out on the top. We predict a 2-0 win for the “Les Blues”.