In our France: Euro 2016 team preview, we look ahead to France’s squad and schedule for this summer’s tournament that they’re hosting, as well as how far they’ll advance and which players to keep an eye out for.
France: Euro 2016 team preview
Manager: Didier Deschamps
Captain: Hugo Lloris
France: Euro 2016 team preview: Fixtures:
Friday, June 10
Wednesday, June 15
Sunday, June 19
France: Euro 2016 team preview: Squad:
Goalkeepers: Benoit Costil (Rennes), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille).
Defenders: Lucas Digne (Roma), Patrice Evra (Juventus), Christophe Jallet (Lyon), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Adil Rami (Sevilla), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Samuel Umtiti (Lyon).
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace), Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United), N’Golo Kante (Leicester), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle).
Forwards: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Dimitri Payet (West Ham).
France: Euro 2016 team preview: Overview:
In the build-up to their hosting of this tournament, things have been going rather well for France. In the most part, anyway.
This is Les Bleus, after all. The one blemish in their preparations for the 2016 showpiece has been the sex-tape scandal involving Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena. Since it came to light, the former was banned from the squad, while the latter, whose form has suffered badly since, has been left out of Deschamps’ party for the competition.
That aside, France are looking well placed for glory. Deschamps has depth to call upon in every area of the pitch, experienced players who have won big titles in the game and perhaps most excitingly of all, a crop of tyros the French people have been expecting to take this tournament by the scruff of the neck for a long time.
Juventus midfield behemoth Paul Pogba is one, as he continues to cement his status as one of the game’s elite midfield men. Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane are others, while 20-year-old Anthony Martial and 19-year-old Kingsley Coman look primed for breakthrough outings on the international stage.
There may be no Franck Ribery, Samir Nasri or Benzema, but there are some senior players who have been rejuvenated in pursuit of a spot in the group most notably Dimitri Payet and Lassana Diarra. N’Golo Kante’s stunning emergence with Premier League winners Leicester City has been another boost for Deschamps.
Concerns come in the aging full-back options and the lack of a No. 9 who is as multifaceted as Benzema. But the 23-man squad is bursting with ability, versatility, power, experience and youth. Backed by their boisterous home fans, the French could be unstoppable.
France: Euro 2016 team preview: Key Player:
Antoine Griezmann – With no Benzema in attack, there will be a greater onus on the team’s other forwards to do the business on the big stage. It’s a job Griezmann has done with distinction for Atletico Madrid this season.
He’s netted massive goals against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich this term, with his searing vertical surges so crucial to Diego Simeone’s side and their run to the final of the Champions League. He may be shifted out to the flank with France, although drifting inside in support of a centre-forward, Griezmann can carry a similar threat.
After Benzema, the 25-year-old is the most natural goalscorer available to Deschamps. Expect Griezmann to be the man to benefit from a line-up rife with creative skill and a player who can tilt tight contests late in the tournament the way of his team.
France: Euro 2016 team preview: Verdict:
Over the course of a competition a manager will have to call upon many members of his squad and there are no players in the 23-man French group you’d feel concerned about Deschamps utilising; there’s ability in absolutely every facet. Given their propensity for flare-ups before and during these events, the biggest obstacle in the way of a French victory is their own temperament.
France home jersey
2016 Euros host France has won the competition twice, once in 2000, and before that in 1984, when they also served as hosts. Les Bleus will take the field in a home jersey in their traditional royal blue with navy highlighting the sleeves and shoulders.
Find out how to order the France home jersey today.
France away jersey
2016 Euros host France has won the competition twice, once in 2000, and before that in 1984, when they also served as hosts. Les Tricolores will combine the red, white and blue on the latest away jersey. The jersey is engineered with DriFit technology, has breathable mesh fabric, and is 100% recycled polyester.
Find out how to order the France away jersey today.
Euro 2016 team previews
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• Belgium team preview
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• France team preview
• Germany team preview
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• Iceland team preview
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• Northern Ireland team preview
• Poland team preview
• Portugal team preview
• Republic of Ireland team preview
• Romania team preview
• Russia team preview
• Slovakia team preview
• Spain team preview
• Sweden team preview
• Switzerland team preview
• Turkey team preview
• Ukraine team preview
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