Published: Tue, May 24, 2016
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

France looking to thrive off hosting a major tournament again

France looking to thrive off hosting a major tournament again

The last time France hosted the European Championship was in 1984 when Les Bleus won the competition for the first time in their history, courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Spain in Paris.

This summer, 34 years on from the last time they had the honour of being the hosts, France are set to do it all over again in the new look tournament which sees 24 teams fighting it out for the trophy on the 10th July.

" Stade de France " ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ) by  Andrea Anastasakis

France have reason to be optimistic that they can repeat their feat of 1984. They also thrived off hosting the  1998 World Cup  in their home country. That home support could also lift this latest young squad to glory.

The hosts kick the tournament off on the 10th June when they face Romania. They are as of 23rd May at 4/11 to get off to winning start if you look at the odds to  bet on Euro 2016 matches.

Two years ago in Brazil, France were beaten 1-0 by Germany in the quarter-final of the competition. Didier Deschamps’ side looked to be serious contenders to win the tournament in South America in 2014 before they fell short in a tight game against the eventual winners.

Deschamps has one of the best young talents in Europe to turn to this summer in Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman can play on either the wing or in a more advanced position up front. He may be used as a centre forward in Euro 2016 as the hosts don’t have too many options in that department as the France boss has opted against taking Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema to the tournament.

Griezmann has had a big season with Atletico as he has helped take the Spanish club to the Champions League final where they have a tie against local rivals Real to look forward to. He has scored 32 goals this season in all competitions so goes into the European Championship in excellent form.

Manchester United’s Anthony Martial is another player who will excite French fans ahead of the tournament this summer. Since he  switched to the Premier League club  from Monaco for in the region of £30million, the 20-year-old has lit up the English league and been one of the brightest sparks for reds boss Louis van Gaal.

Martial only just made his senior debut for France last year but has now played eight times for Les Bleus and is almost certainly going to be a key player for Deschamps in their bid to win the tournament.

" _MG_2785 " ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ) by  xavnal

Deschamps can rely on France skipper Hugo Lloris between the sticks to help ensure his side concede as few goals as possible this summer. In front of the Tottenham ‘keeper, they have one of the best young defenders in the world in Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, while experienced defenders Laurent Koscielny, Patrice Evra and Bacary Sagna make up what could be a very solid back four.

Where some teams struggle under the pressure of playing at home in a major tournament, this France team looks capable of doing the opposite as Deschamps has all the tools to guide the hosts to the trophy this summer.

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