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Euro 2016: The French Story So Far

With the 2016 European Championships just around the corner, we look at the story so far concerning the French national team and assess whether they can win it

Hugo Lloris

The Road To Euro 2016

As hosts, the French National team have avoided the long, and sometimes tedious qualifying campaign endured by the other National Teams playing at Euro 2016. Obviously this has been a massive advantage in terms of resting players, but on the other hand the ‘Cockerels’ may be desperately short of proper competitive action after a series of largely meaningless friendlies.

Obviously a shining light in the French squad is the young, dynamic centre forward Anthony Martial. Although the young forward has yet to score for the senior National side, he has shown in his performances for Manchester United that he’s a striker of the highest quality. He has been played on the flanks for large parts of this season, but his future undoubtedly lies as a centre forward. When faced with one-on-one situations, Martial has shown himself as a clinical finisher of the highest quality.

One important player who’ll be missing from the squad is Karim Benzema. The Real Madrid striker has been suspended indefinitely from the National team. This is due to an on going criminal investigation regarding the blackmail of the French International Valbuena.

The Key Players

Martial and Benzema have already been mentioned. Other notable players include the ever impressive Hugo Lloris. The Tottenham Hotspur shot-stopper has been incredibly impressive this term. His consistent performances, and presence between the sticks, has been a major factor in the Spurs title charge this season.

A key influence in midfield will be the ever improving Paul Pogba. The former Manchester United player has really flourished since moving to Juventus. His mobility, passing and goalscoring ability are going to be huge assets to the French National Manager Didier Deschamps. Another player Deschamps will be pleased to have available is attacking midfielder Antoine Griezmann. The Atletico Madrid player has proven himself invaluable as his marauding instincts have driven Madrid toward European Champion League success. His abilities should dovetail perfectly with Pogba to make the French midfield a formidable weapon in France’s quest to regain the European Championships they last won in the year 2000.

A far as the defence goes, the veteran Patrice Evra is still very much part of the squad. The experience he brings should help fellow defenders Raphael Varane, Lucas Digne, plus the Arsenal pair of Bacary Sagna and Laurent Koscielny.

France have many good options up front. Martial obviously will play a key role, but other players will have a say in France’s campaign too. Andre-Pierre Gignac will be one such person. The Marseille striker will certainly be fighting for a starting place along with Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud who is a very tempting 10/3 to be France’s top goalscorer, if you are thinking of placing a bet take a look at for all the best odds and free bets. The imposing striker will provide a genuine threat in the air from crosses, free kicks and corners.

A big loss for France was the retirement from the National team by Franck Ribery in 2014. It has been nearly two years since he last pulled on the famous blue shirt, and his creative influence would have been hugely beneficial to their chances of success.

Euro Glory for France in 2016?

Overall France must have an excellent chance of doing very well in Euro 2016. They are at home, and home teams usually fair very well in the International game. They have very good players in key positions, especially Lloris in goal and Pogba in midfield. In Martial they may also have the star of the show. He certainly has all the abilities required of a potentially great striker. But he is very young, and this may be a tournament too soon for the youthful forward. France should sail through their qualifying group. They kick the Championships off on 10th June against opponents Romania at the Stade de France. This is followed by Albania at the Stade Velodrome, and Switzerland on the 19th June in Lyon.

Will France win Euro 2016. The answer may very well be ‘Oui’.

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