France – A UEFA Euro 2016 Team Preview

Posted on by Sreya

France vs Sweden

When France kick off their UEFA Euro 2016 campaign on 10th June, 2016 in Stade de France near the Paris suburbs, it would not only mark the inception of the fifth European Championship, but also provide testimony to the resilience of a country hit by terrorism during a previous international friendly.

With one of the most technically skilled midfields in European football right now, France boasts of one of the most versatile squads among all European nations. Most likely to line up in Deschamps’ preferred 4-3-3 formation, France definitely have the ability to go all the way into the finals. Drawn in a comparatively relaxing Group A, the hosts have an exciting footballing squad which will be backed fervently by the home support.

“When you have to build a squad for a final tournament, you don’t pick the best players, you just try to build the best squad.”

Didier Deschamps, France.

France have a safe pair of hands in Tottenham Hotspur’s Hugo Lloris who will take his place below the bars on the back of a good season of club football. Benoit Costil and Steve Mandana might not be equally popular as their compatriot playing in English football, but are solid back-up options in case of an injury or suspension to Lloris.

Although France’s defensive set-up gives the impression of being not as astute as their attack and midfield, the presence of the likes of Lucas Digne, Patrice Évra, Laurent Koscielny, Jérémy Mathieu, Bacary Sagna and Raphaël Varane ensures there is quality as well as experience in the backline.

The Les Bleus, arguably, have the best midfield among all the participating nations. Led by the prodigious Paul Pogba and the hard-working Blaise Matuidi, France not only have the Premier League champion N’Golo Kante, the versatile Yohan Cabaye and the experienced Lassana Diarra in their ranks, but also the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin and Adrian Rabiot in their stand-by list.

If Didier Deschamps has to be absolutely confident of any one of his team’s on-field attributes, it will be the offense. While Antoine Griezmann is France’s key man, the Atlético Madrid forward scoring 22 league goals this past season, the presence of Olivier Giroud with whom Griezmann shares an excellent understanding will allow Deschamps to rest easy. There is also Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman who has proved his mettle on every single opportunity which has been handed out to him.

The French manager also possesses the options of choosing Anthony Martial or Dimitri Payet on the left wing, both of whom performed exceptionally for their respective clubs this season. With Alexandre Lacazette and Hatem Ben Arfa being the back-ups in the stand-by list, an able offense could very well help France to their third European Championship.

As the Les Bleus take on Romania in the tournament opener, horrific memories from seven months ago will still plague the Frenchmen but expectations from their national side, who are firm favorites in this year’s championship, will spur them on.

Didier Deschamps’ has inherited and molded one of the most talented squads in the history of French football with the current squad being entirely capable of repeating the ‘Class of 1984’ who won this very competition on home soil.

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