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Euro 2016: France vs Romania Preview
France and Romania are set to get Euro 2016 underway on Friday 10 June at the Stade de France.
Euro 2016 hosts, France, kick start the tournament when they lock horns with Romania at the Stade de France. The French are yet to lose a competitive game against opening Group A opponents, Romania, but recent meetings have been tight.
The sides met in the first match of Romania’s most recent final tournament, Raymond Domenech’s France held 0-0 by Victor Piturca’s side at Euro 2008. But with Didier Deschamps at the helm, Romania could expect a different approach from the hosts. It’s all to play for in the first game with the hosts firm favourites to hit the ground running.
France vs Romania | Friday 10 June | Stade de France | 21:00
To Win Match
France 3/10 | Draw 39/10 | Romania 10/1
France have won one and lost one of their previous opening games as Euro hosts.
They beat Denmark 1-0 at Parc des Princes in the 1984 final as they were crowned champions of Europe, having lost 5-4 to eventual runners-up Yugoslavia at the same stadium in the 1960 semifinals.
France have made the Stade de France their very own fortress, with Les Bleus winning 21 games at home, losing just three times, with eight draws.
If France are to go far in the competition, they will have to do it without their star striker, Karim Benzema and club mate Raphael Varane who pulled out with a thigh injury.
Deschamps chose to leave Benzema out of the squad because of his involvement in the ongoing Mathieu Valbuena blackmail case.
However, with the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet, Kingsley Coman and Anthony Martial all having their best seasons to date, this French side show a lot of potential to get past the Romanians in their first encounter.
Romania head into the tournament in great form, having been undefeated in their qualifying stages with five wins and as many draws, boasting the record as the best defence after conceding just twice.
However, the last time the Romanians picked up a victory in a Euro tournament was back in 2000 when they beat England 3-2.
The fact that Romania had the best defensive record in qualifying shows how successful they have been at keeping things tight at the back.
Arguably one of their key players in achieving that record has been Ciprian Tatarusanu. In 2015, he was named Player of the Year in Romania, the first goalkeeper to win the award since Steaua’s Helmuth Duckadam.
In attack, Constantin Budescu and Bogdan Stancu both netted twice in the qualifying stages and will surely look to add to their goalscoring record.
Stancu is one of Romania’s best players in the side, and can operate anywhere along the front three. Much of Romania’s chances lie in his hands.
Verdict: France Win + Under 3.5 Goals (13/20)
As much as everybody expects France to win this one convincingly, it won’t be so straightforward. Romania qualified for the Euros with the best defensive record, conceding twice in 10 games. The hosts are tipped to win this one, though, with Under 3.5 Goals in the game. With Romania’s rock-solid defence and France’s deadly attack, Deschamps’ men will win this by the odd goal or two. However, avoid all ‘Winning Margins’ markets and back France to Win + Under 3.5 Goals at 13/20.
Written by Jesse Nagel for