France vs. Romania
|Date & Time||Friday June 10, 2016, 3:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: France -350 / Romania +1350 -- Over/Under: 2.5
Romania and France open up the UEFA Euro 2016 Friday afternoon at Stade de France on ESPN.
It’s been awhile since Romania has been in a major tournament or had any real success, as its highlight was probably a quarterfinal appearance in the 1994 World Cup. Romania isn’t expected to do much with a lack of guys who can put pressure on opposing defenses, but this still isn’t the team you want to look over so quickly. Romania is very aggressive and polished on the defensive end, which including shutting out Lithuania and Spain a couple of weeks ago. Romania is very stingy and isn’t going to give up anything cheap thanks to a young midfield led by Gabriel Torje and Alexandru Chipciu. Offensively, options are very limited, but 23-year-old Nicolae Stanciu has a chance to make some noise and could put fear in opposing defenses if he’s able to get loose.
France will have the pressure of dealing with home field advantage which hasn’t exactly been kind in past tournaments. Look at the 2010 and 2014 World Cup, 2012 Euro, heck, even the start to this year's Copa America. France will try and flip the demons on its head with a team that’s more than capable of making a run at the title. France is deep and disciplined defensively, and it has an attacking offense that can go toe-to-toe with any in this tournament. Hugo Lloris is an elite goalkeeper and will have the help from Blaise Matuidi and N’Golo Kante in the midfield. Offensively, France has a ton of playmakers and youth to throw at opponents, including Anthony Martial, Dimitri Payet and Olivier Giroud. These aren’t your typical France teams from the past, as it can can control the pace of matches. Watch out.
Romania is better than what people give it credit for, but it isn’t France. The home team is absolutely loaded in the right places and is the favorite to win this tournament for a reason. Romania just doesn’t have the depth of talent that France does and will be in trouble if it gets down early.
The line isn’t great, but France should be able to win this match by two goals if it plays the way many expect.