SAINT-DENIS, France, Sporting Alert – Watch the opening game of Euro 2016 live on ESPN3 on Friday, as hosts France begins its title hunt with a matchup against Romania at Stade De France.
France, although staying out of the limelight, have a good feeling about themselves for this tournament, given their good record when hosting major international championships.
They were spot on when winning Euro 1984 and backed that achievement up by lifting the World Cup trophy in 1998.
And with the likes of Paul Pogba, Hugo Lloris, Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet and N’Golo Kante, among others in the squad, the home side can’t help but feel upbeat about their chances of playing on local turf.
“Every country has a different culture,” Tottenham goalkeeper and national captain Lloris said. “It maybe didn’t help Brazil in [World Cup] 2014 but for us the public are going to be a great support.
“We just have to take advantage of it and to be proud.”
Meanwhile, Lloris, Griezmann, Pogba, Payet and Kante are joined in the starting lineup by Arsenal duo Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny, Patrice Evra of Juventus, PSG’s Blaise Matuidi and Manchester City’s Bacary Sagna.
Meanwhile, for Romania, former Tottenham defender Vlad Chiriches, who now suits out for Napoli in Italy, is among the starters, with Bogdan Stancu, one of the leading goalscorer in qualifiers and Florin Andone leading the attack.
Adrian Popa, Razvan Rat, Nicolae Stanciu and Ovidiu Hoban are also in the starting XI for the Romanians today.
Costel Pantilimon, who plays in the English Premier League with Watford, is on the bench.
France team to play Romania: Lloris, Sagna, Koscielny, Rami, Evra, Matuidi, Kante, Pogba, Payet, Giroud, Griezmann. Subs: Mandanda, Jallet, Cabaye, Gignac, Martial, Schneiderlin, Mangala, Digne, Sissoko, Coman, Umtiti, Costil.
Romania team to play France: Sapunaru, Chiriches, Grigore, Rat, Pintilii, Hoban, Popa, Stanciu, Stancu, Andone. Subs: Pantilimon, Matel, Moti, Chipciu, Alibec, Torje, Keseru, Gaman, Filip, Sanmartean, Prepelita, Lung