France are being touted as one of the hot favorites to win the upcoming Euro 2016 in their own backyard and so they should be as they have a strong squad and some of the best match-winners from the current generation.
However, Les Blues have suffered injury setbacks leading up to the tournament with Jeremie Mathieu and Raphael Varane being ruled out of the tournament leaving the French side short on cover at the back.
Their defensive frailties were on show last night after they overcame a competitive Cameroon side with help of a 90th minute winning goal from Dimitri Payet. The win brought more question marks than joy for Didier Deschamps’ men, who looked under the weather with only 2 weeks left for the start of Euro 2016.
Going forward, France could have one of the most exciting forward lines with Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet and Anthony Martial leading the attack with Paul Pogba in support from midfield. However, they will need to keep a check on teams who like to soak up the pressure and hit on the counter attack.
That is where losing Varane and Mathieu will be crucial blows for France and it could even be a damaging one given the group stage format. Despite getting only 3 games to qualify for the round of 16, France should not worry about that, what they need to worry is to finish top of their group and avoid dangerous teams at the round of 16.
Add to that, the tag of being the favorites will not do any favors to the French national team. They are expected to do well and perhaps replicate the success of Euro 2000, where they won the trophy on their home soil.
The current lot have indeed got the talent to go all the way but it remains to be seen if they can do it without spreading the anxiety amongst their fans. Excitement levels will be high but I can see some last minute winners or crucial equalizer to be the routine for this French team at this summer’s European Championship.
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