Euro 2012: The Contenders – France




Group D sees two of the most unpredictable teams in world football slotted together. While France have made a mess of their last two international campaigns, England have failed to win anything since their World Cup win in 1966. Throw Sweden and Ukraine into the mix and we have an absolutely intriguing Group D to watch out for.

Euro 2012: The Contenders - France

Euro 2012: The Contenders – France

On paper, England and France are favorites to go through. But with an inspired Zlatan Ibrahimovic in form, Sweden are no pushovers. Likewise Andriy Shevchenko would be looking at this as his last opportunity to make his mark on the international stage and Ukraine would be motivated in doing well in front of their home crowd.

France:

After a disastrous Euro 2008 and a forgetful World Cup in 2010, France started their rebuilding process after the exit of Raymond Domenech under Laurent Blanc, who was a part of the World Cup winning team in 1998. France were lucky to be handed an easy qualifying group where they just beat Bosnia and Herzegovina for the top spot and encountered just one defeat in ten games.

France come into the Euros with a relatively young squad when compared to the team they took to South Africa in 2010. The attacking trio of Nasri, Ribery and Benzema are proven performers at the club level and it’s about time they raised their game a level higher and spearhead France’s attack in the Championships.

Key Player: In a team filled with superstars playing for clubs all over Europe, France’s key player in the Euros would be Manchester City star Samir Nasri. The Algerian born playmaker was instrumental in helping Manchester City win their first Premier League title in 44 years and his tricky step overs can be a threat to any defence in the world.

Other Stars: Franc Ribery, Karim Benzema, Florent Malouda, Patrice Evra, Gael Clichy, Hugo Lloris

Prediction: Quarterfinals

France, along with England, are expected to qualify for the knockouts from Group B. France have always been shaky starters and face a tough encounter with England first up with the losers most likely to meet Spain in the quarterfinals. France have a habit of throwing up surprises as they did in the 2006 World Cup and Blanc’s team have it in them to go all the way. France could well be the dark horses of the tournament.

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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