Romania Hope To Weather French Storm In Euro 2016 Opener

Romania’s coach expects an aggressive play by the French team, but expects the Romanians to keep their cool.

2 min read
France’s Olivier Giroud stretches during a training session. (Photo: AP)

Romania are confident they can weather the French storm in the early stages of their game against Euro 2016 hosts, in the Group A opener at the Stade de France on Friday.

Although Romania have recently proved to be a tough nut to crack for France – with the two sides drawing four of their last five encounters – they have not beaten Les Bleus since 1972.

We expect them to start in a very attacking vein, there will be a lot of pressure on our players, they’re going to come out on the pitch backed by a stadium full of French fans. I expect France to begin the match in aggressive fashion but I’m sure my players are ready and determined to overcome these spells of domination.
Anghel Iordanescu, Romania Head Coach

France, looking to win their third European title after their 1984 and 2000 triumphs, have shown some impressive firepower in their recent fixtures, scoring 13 goals in their last four games.

Romania, who will also take on Albania and Switzerland in the group stage, have had mixed results in the build-up to the month-long tournament beginning on 10 June. They beat Georgia 5-1 last week, following a 4-3 defeat by Ukraine.

Iordanescu, however, hopes his team will be able to stick to their game plan and make the most of France’s shortcomings.

We are going to follow our strategy, we don’t want to simply play defensively, we want a balanced style of play. France do have some shortcomings at the back.
Anghel Iordanescu 
France’s players participate in a training session. ( Photo: AP)
France’s players participate in a training session. ( Photo: AP)

France have lost centre back Raphael Varane to injury and are also without Mamadou Sakho, after the Liverpool defender was handed a 30-day provisional ban after failing a drug test.

Sakho’s suspension expired late last month but France coach Didier Deschamps omitted him from his final 23-man squad.

France keeper Hugo Lloris kept his first clean sheet in five games in a 3-0 win against a weak Scotland team last week after Les Bleus had conceded two goals in each of their previous four outings.

Romania will be at full strength after some minor injury scares.

Florin Andone and Denis Alibec have sustained injuries but the doctors in Bucharest have assured us they were light injuries that won’t have an impact.
Anghel Iordanescu 

(This article has been edited for length.)

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