Saturday, December 03, 2011

Beware what you wish for - Les Bleus draw host nation again

Ooof oooof ooooof, so France avoided the really big fish in the shapes of Spain, Holland and Germany. They even missed the likes of Portugal and Croatia...so why does this group still make me nervous? It might be the fact that France head into the group as a co-favorite if not the favorite to finish top of the group. Gasp. Remember when France was drawn in what appeared to be an "easy" group for the South Africa world cup? Too bad the ended up in dead last of that group, after scoring one goal and securing one whole point...

So the French will face the following group and schedule:

Monday 11 June 2012
#7: FRA v ENG, 18.00CET, Donetsk
#8: UKR v SWE, 20.45CET, Kyiv

Friday 15 June 2012
#15: SWE v ENG, 20.45CET, Kyiv
#16: UKR v FRA, 18.00CET, Donetsk

Tuesday 19 June 2012
#23: ENG v UKR, 20.45CET, Donetsk
#24: SWE v FRA, 20.45CET, Kyiv

In a good way, facing their historical rival England in the first match will force Les Bleus to be on top of their game from game 1. Based on France's recent history as well as the fact England will be without their best player - Rooney - gives Les Bleus a decent chance to come out with at least a point. Facing the host Ukraine in the second game will be tough, it is never easy to play a host especially in the caldron of Donestek (Ukraine's heart of club football). Sweden will not be an easy opponent for the final game.

France have played well against all three nations they will face - defeating England 2-1 last year, won 4-1 in Kiev and lost to Sweden oh wait that was in the woman's world cup. Les Bleus have a winnable group, but at the least need to finish second. Granted I would be simply happy to see France win a group game after going 0-4-2 in the last two major tournaments. Lloris has already "punted" and put all the pressure on England saying they are the clear cut favorites. Good move Hugo! Deflect the attention!!

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