England go into Euro 2012 with low expectations about how the team will perform. Their first match comes up against a national rival in France.
In the 28 matches the two sides have played against one another, England leads with 16 wins compared to France’s eight while there have been four draws.
Recently, England has been through a spot of turmoil, as a row between experienced center back pairing Rio Ferdinand and John Terry is suspected to have been a factor in Rio not being selected. The riff is over the reported racial abuse by Terry toward Ferdinand’s brother, Anton.
In addition, England have a new manager in Roy Hodgson, a vastly experienced manager who has won his first two matches as England managers.
France embarrassed themselves at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, leading to the firing of coach Raymond Domenech and the hiring of Laurent Blanc. Under Blanc, France have undergone a great change, with many of the more established members of the squad being dropped in favour of younger players. The result of this has been 18 games unbeaten as they come into the tournament.