France European Championship Record
Winners: 1984, 2000
4th Place: 1960, 1996
Quarter-final: 2004, 2012
Group stage: 1992, 2008
Did not qualify: 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1988
Total: W15 D8 L9 49:39
France Euro 2016 Qualifying Record
Qualified as hosts
France Euro 2016 Group Fixtures
10th June @21:00 – France vs Romania (Stade de France, Paris)
15th June @21:00 – France vs Albania (Stade Velodrome, Marseille)
19th June @21:00 – Switzerland vs France (Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille)
Road to Euro 2016
As Euro 2016 hosts, France automatically qualified for the tournament finals, but they acted as part of qualifying Group I, facing the likes of Portugal, Albania, Denmark, Serbia and Armenia in international friendlies. Les Bleus were on form in high-profile matches vs Portugal, Serbia and Denmark (W5 D1), but recorded a draw and defeat in two games vs Albania, with the lack of motivation clearly the main reason for under-par performances.
France had mixed success in November 2015 friendlies, defeating Germany at home before losing to England at Wembley, but it was two outstanding showings in March 2016 that nominated them as the main candidates for the coveted trophy. Les Bleus produced two brilliant attacking performances to record 3-2 and 4-2 wins over Netherland and Russia, meaning that final warm-up fixtures with Cameroon and Scotland will only serve as an opportunity for Didier Deschamps to fine-tune what already seems like a well-oiled machine.
Style of Play
France have used a 4-3-3 system ever since Didier Deschamps took over the reigns and there was clearly no need to make major adjustments on the road to the Euro 2016. With so many attacking midfielders capable of arriving late in the opposition box and making forward runs behind the enemy lines, playing with a target man seemed the obvious solution, and this role will go to either Olivier Giroud or Andre-Pierre Gignac after Karim Benzema virtually ruled himself out of contention.
The Arsenal forward seems like a perfect fit for Didier Deschamps’ style of play, as he brings other teammates into play, with his one-touch passes to central midfielders often proving crucial to team’s ability to launch lethal counter-attacks. While he tends to operate on the left, Antoine Griezmann often acts as second striker, as his incredible mobility and technical skills making him a real menace for opposition defenders.
With the likes of Pogba, Matuidi and Payet also in the side, France national team move the ball around quickly, and with each of these players extremely strong on the ball, they are very difficult to man mark or contain using zonal marking, as teams cannot afford to focus on just one or two of these players. Now that the West Ham star is back in the side, Les Bleus are also quite dangerous from set-pieces, as witnessed by numerous dangerous opportunities created in friendlies vs Netherlands and Russia, so it is clear that this team do not have too many weaknesses.
If we dig deep, then maybe full-back positions, covered by Patrice Evra and either Bacary Sagna or Christophe Jallet could be targeted by opposition coaches as potential weak spots.
- International Experience
- Technical skills
- Formidable attack
- Powerful and skilful midfield
- Payet’s set pieces
- Strong team spirit
- Home field advantage
- Full-back positions
- At times leave a lot of space behind
- Could feel extra pressure
France Euro 2016 Starting Line-Up
Missing: Karim Benzema (suspension), Jeremy Mathieu (injury), Lassana Diarra (injury), Raphael Varane (injury)
France national team haven’t achieved too much success since winning back to back World Cup and European Championship titles at the end of the 20th century, but this feels like a perfect opportunity to return to old glory days. Didier Deschamps has one of the most talented generations at his disposal and he appears to have managed to put his stamp on the team, making all star names work hard for the team’s cause. With an abundance of talent in midfield and attack, and decent back line led by Hugo Lloris and Laurent Koscielny, Les Bleus indeed look like the number one favourites for the coveted trophy.
It will not be easy for the players to ensure huge support from the stands becomes an extra advantage, rather than added pressure, but this crop of footballers is experienced enough to cope with everything thrown their way. With the likes of Pogba, Griezmann, Payet and Matuidi in the form of their lives and very good replacements for the starting XI making sure Didier Deschamps has enough quality options to keep his star men fresh throughout the tournament, our money is on France to win the Euro 2016.
IST Tip: France to win Euro 2016
Odds: 4.40 (17/5) @10bet
*France to win Group A is 1.36 (4/11) @bet365
*France to be highest scoring team is 4.33 (10/3) @BetVictor
*France to reach the final is 3.00 (2/1) @Betfair
*Griezmann to be Euro 2016 top goalscorer is 13.00 (12/1) @BetVictor
*Giroud to be Euro 2016 top goalscorer is 19.00 (18/1) @10bet
France Euro 2016 Squad:
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Benoit Costil (Rennes);
Defenders: Patrice Evra (Juventus), Christophe Jallet (Lyon), Samuel Umtiti (Lyon), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Lucas Digne (Roma), Adil Rami (Sevilla), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal);
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace), Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle), N’Golo Kante (Leicester);
Forwards: Dimitri Payet (West Ham), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Monaco), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich).
Last updated: 1st June 2016