France vs Romania by FP
Deschamps caused a bit of controversy by leaving out Karim Benzema and Hatam Ben Arfa from his squad, leading to Manchester United legend Eric Cantona questioning if the coach was racist due to their ethnicity - both players are of North African descent. Both Benzema and Ben Arfa had fine seasons for their domestic clubs but didn't make the squad. Deschamps denies the claims. This negative news story is unlikely to cause a great deal of problems within the squad though so those that are backing France need not to worry about any unnecessary distractions.
France look to have a balanced squad assembled overall, although they have lost quite a few of their first choice central defenders recently. They are without Real Madrid centre back Rafael Varane and Barcelona centre back Jeremy Mathieu through injuries, and Liverpool player Mamadu Sakho was not called up due to a provisional doping ban. Sevilla's Adil Rami replaced Varane in the squad whilst Lyon's Samuel Umtiti replaces Mathieu. Wing back could be a problem area as France are reliant on the aging Patrice Evra alongside Digne and Jallet so they may be vulnerable to a quick counter attack.
If France do have a weakness then you would suggest it would be their defence as their attacking threat looks intimidating. They boast the likes of Atletico Madrid star Antoinne Griezmann, Manchester United star Anthony Martial and Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, with support coming from West Hams Dimitri Payet and Bayern Munichs winger Kingsley Coman. Paul Pogba will provide the stability in central midfield.
Romania do not have many players plying their trade in the top European leagues these days. Captain Vlad Chiriches may be the most high profile player but Cordoba striker Florin Andone would be my pick of the squad and the player most likely to cause a threat to the France back line. Córdoba do play in the second tier of Spanish football but Andone looks to have potential.
Romania coach Anghel Iordanescu looks to have a tough job on his hands to achieve a top two finish in the group with Switzerland the other team likely to provide competition. Most people assume that Albania will finish bottom of the group and I would probably agree with that.
The furthest Romania have progressed in the European competition was in 2000 when they made the quarter finals and they do have a chance of matching that achievement if they can beat Switzerland in their next game, although they will not get any further than the quarter finals, I cannot see them holding out against France in the opening game with the atmosphere likely to be electric. You might point to the fact that Romania had the best defensive record in qualifying with just two goals conceded in ten unbeaten games, but I would say that relates more to the low standard of opposition. This will be a different test entirely.
A single goal victory would do France nicely, but I will take a risk for the opening game and bet that France will push on once they have taken the lead and will keep attacking with the crowd behind them. My bet will be for France to cover a one goal handicap at odds of even money (2.00)
Good luck with your bets, and feel free to check out my personal site www.footypreviews.com for more Euro 216 betting tips
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|France -1 goal||10bet||2.00||9||2-1 PUSH (Stake return)|
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.