Euro 2012 Predictions: France Could Pull off an Upset
With the start of Euro 2012 now just two days away, footballing fans are more excited than ever about the the tournament, which is expected to be one of the highest quality competitions in a very long while.
For the first time in recent memory, absolutely all of the "big" clubs of Europe have managed to qualify for the group stages.
As a result, this has led to mouthwatering ties in this initial stages of the championships that are sure to delight all fans who get the chance to watch the fixtures.
As per usual, the names being banded about with possible glory are your Spains, Germanys and Hollands.
However, one team that seems to be being overlooked at this current moment in time are Les Bleus.
France have lost some of the respect that they held within international football since the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
After shoddy management and egos running high, the team effectively disbanded before they had even played a group game in South Africa.
Eventually the French slumped to two defeats and one nil-nil draw, scoring only one goal the entire tournament.
It was a shambles, and from an English point of view, a nice distraction from how bad our own team were playing in that particular tournament.
Will France reach the final of the Euros?
Things are very different, however, from how they were back then for France.
Former Manchester United defender Laurent Blanc has taken control of the French team, and has managed to mould them into a strong cohesive unit.
The aging French team of 2010 has been all but replaced with a new breed of world talents.
Names like Karim Benzema, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Patrice Evra and Franck Ribery—to name just a few—aren't exactly obscure to the everyday fan.
France are now a team of superstars, possibly more so than even the Dutch and the Germans.
Of course, "superstars" don't win you trophies.
But good tactical management, backed up by solidarity and sensible play on the pitch, certainly does.
France's first game at the Euros is against, who else, England.
Despite not being fancied themselves, England could shock a few people by their progression through the competition.
However, it would take a lot for the English to beat France next Monday.
I know France are always a force to be reckoned with, and are never really counted out as a possible favourite, but if there's ever been a time when the French team has been underrated in international football, this is it.
Watch out for France at the Euros, and those of you who like a tipple with the bookmakers, get your money on them early, before they show the world what they're capable of and the odds are slashed!
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