France vs Romania – Preview and Prediction
uropean powerhouse France will open the 2016 UEFA European Championship as well as its campaign this year against a tough Romania team on Friday, June 10 at the Stade de France in Seine-Saint-Denis.
Les Bleus, currently ranked 17th in the world by FIFA, are looking sharp and has been undefeated in all their four friendly matches this year, namely a 3-2 win over the Netherlands, 4-2 against Russia, another 3-2 this time versus Cameroon, and finally their Euro 2016 send-off, a 3-0 thrashing of Scotland.
The match against Scotland was held at the Stade Saint-Symphorien in Metz on Sunday and saw Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud score a double, at the eighth and 35th minutes, to lead head coach Didier Deschamps’ squad, as per ESPN.
Giroud’s Gunners teammate Laurent Koscielny sealed the game with another goal at the 39th to complete the hosts’ four-goal haul.
La Sélection is not actually fielding their strongest lineup in this tourney with Karim Benzema’s suspension after a blackmailing scandal. Still, they are one of the strongest in the competitions with Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and Juventus’ Paul Pogba and is expected to reach at least the quarterfinals, if not the semis.
Aside from being one of the favorites together with Germany, Spain, Belgium, and Portugal, France is also set to host the whole tournament, which they hope to use as a springboard to replicate their past hosting successes in the 1998 World Cup and 1984 Euro.
Meanwhile, world no. 22 Romania is definitely not a pushover in this group also composed of Switzerland and Albania. Although not expected to make any incredible performances, manager’s Anghel Iordănescu should not be taken lightly by any means.
The manager itself, who is a Romanian Senate member, came out of retirement to lead the squad and is the reason of their great plays these days. They are coming off an impressive 5-1 beating of Georgia last Saturday at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest as their last friendly in preparation for this tourney, via Daily Mail Online.
With Fiorentina goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu, and defenders Vlad Chiriches and Razvan Rat, of Napoli and Rayo Vallecano respectively, the 66-year-old mentor had prepared what is considered as one of the stingiest defenses in this summer’s competitions. It would be interesting to see how it will hold against an offensive dynamo like France.
The predicted result is a 2-0 win for France.
France starting lineup (4-3-3 formation): Lloris; Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra; Pogba, Kanté, Matuidi; Griezmann, Giroud, Payet
Romania starting lineup (4-2-3-1 formation): Tatarusanu; Sapunaru, Moti, Grigore, Rat; Pintilii, Hoban; Popa, Stanciu, Stancu; Andone