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Euro 2016: Group A analysis

Romania, Albania and Switzerland join France in the first group of Euro 2016. ‘Les Bleus’ are not the only favorites to reach the next stage, they are also one of the main candidates to win the trophy.

France: A new French generation comes to life in this Euro. The hosts are not expected only to pass the group stage but to convince their fans with a high quality football, allied to individualities that mark this set. At home are names like Benzema, Ben Harfa, Varane, Mathieu and Diarra. The first two by choice of Didier Deschamps and the last ones by injury.

The absence of the striker from Real Madrid opens doors to the role of Pogba and Griezmann, two young men who are mentioned as possible stars of this Euro. The Juventus midfielder plays a key role in the dynamic and offensive organization of the team, serving the small but lethal striker of Atletico Madrid who can play in supporting Giroud or from a flank, and the opposite runner may emerge the irreverent Payet or the unpredictable Coman. Didier Deschamps and the French players have an excellent opportunity to repeat the home win of Euro 1984..

XI (4-3-3): Lloris, Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra, Kanté, Pogba, Matuidi, Griezmann, Payet and Giroud

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Albania: The Balkan Eagles make their debut in the final stages of the Euro after they ended surprisingly on 2nd place in the qualifying group, ahead of Denmark and Serbia.

In the previous phase, the national team guided by the Italian Gianni De Biasi made 7 goals and conceded 5, carrying out an unprecedented campaign. An accomplishment that has benefited from the 3-0 win against Serbia, imposed by UEFA. Albania reaches this stage with an organized and defensively solid team that has in the 22 year old Elsei Hysaj, right full back of Napoli its great reference in a side that makes worth its collective game.

XI (4-3-3): Berisha, Hysaj, Cana, Mavraj, Agolli; Abrashi, Xhaka, Kukeli, Gashi, Lenjani and Cikalleshi.

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Romania: The Romanians arrive at Euro 2016 after they reached the second place in Group F with 20 points, 11 goals scored, 2 conceded and no losses. The national team guided by Anghel Iordanescu is one of four teams that did not know the taste of defeat in this race to the Euro 2016.

The best performance of the ‘Tricolorii’ dates back to Euro 2000 which ended in the quarter-finals. Romania arrives in France with the status of best defense in the qualifying round, making their defensive organization the best weapon with Vlad Chiriches to be the mainstay of the rear sector.

XI (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu, Sapunaru, Chiriches, Grigore, Rat, Pintilii, Hoban, Popa, Stanciu, Stancu and Andone.

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Switzerland: The Swiss reached the finals of the Euro after they finished in 2nd place in Group E with 21 points, as result of 7 wins and 3 losses.

Vladimir Petkovic takes the responsibility to qualify Switzerland for the first time to the next stage of the Euro, after having been eliminated in the group stage in 2008 when they were hosts in 2012. The offensive propensity of Ricardo Rodriguez and captain Lichtsteiner is one of the main weapons of the Swiss but not the only one. Granit Xhaka is the player that everyone wants to see after the confirmation of his move to Arsenal. The defensive midfielder can be a figure of this competition and may star in the first duel of brothers in Europe when they face Albania where his brother, Taulant Xhaka, plays.

XI (4-3-3): Sommer; Lichtsteiner, Schar, Djourou, Rodriguez; Xhaka, Dzemaili, Behrami; Shaqiri, Seferović and Mehmedi.

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Calendar:

June 10

France – Romania 8pm (Stade de France, Paris)

June 11

Albania – Switzerland 2pm (Stade Felix Bollaert-Delelis, Lens)

June 15

Romania – Switzerland 5pm (Parc des Princes, Paris)

France – Albania 8pm (Stade Vélodrome, Marseille)

June 19

Romania – Albania 8pm (Parc OL, Lyon)

Switzerland – France 8pm (Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille)