Team Preview: France

FIFA Ranking: 16

Euro history: France is a two-time European Champion. They won in 1984 as the host and most recently in 2000. France had a disastrous tournament in 2008. They lost two matches, drew one and could only muster one goal through their three matches.

How they qualified: France barely edged Bosnia and Herzegovina to win Group D. France only conceded four goals in a group that also featured Romania, Belarus, Albania and Luxembourg.

Group information and schedule: France is in Group D with England, Ukraine and Sweden. All games will be played in Ukraine.

June 11 vs. England in Donetsk

June 15 vs. Ukraine in Donetsk

June 19 vs. Sweden in Kiev

Early roster thoughts: France has a very talented squad that boasts players who play on top teams in France and top leagues in Europe. Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has been a strong replacement for the retired Fabian Barthez. Center back might be the weakness for Les Bleus. France has a surplus at left back with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and Manchester City’s Gael Clichy. Defensive midfielder Yann M’villa is 21 years old and ready to become a household name in Europe if he can stay healthy. Manchester City Samir Nasri and Bayern Munich Franck Ribery will provide width and try to deliver service to Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.

How they will do: France was in Pot 4 in the draw and are fortunate they aren’t in Group B instead of Denmark or Group C instead of Ireland. Now France is the favorite to win this group as England has been weakened by injury. France gets to play England without Rooney. If France can make the quarterfinals they have the players to make a run at the final in Kiev.

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