France 1-1 England

Euro 2012: France v England

  • Venue: Donbass Arena, Donetsk
  • Date: Monday, 11 June
  • Kick-off: 17:00 BST

Coverage: ITV, BBC Radio 5 live, highlights on BBC One and BBC Sport website

England are expected to pair Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck in attack against France on Monday, with James Milner and Stewart Downing on the wing.

Manchester City's Joleon Lescott is favourite to partner John Terry in central defence for Roy Hodgson's side.

France midfielder Yann M'Vila is fit after an ankle knock but is unlikely to start, with Alou Diarra likely to play. Blaise Matuidi is also available.

Striker Karim Benzema should feature despite suffering recent back pain.

England manager Roy Hodgson and midfielder Scott Parker

Latest England camp report

Coach Roy Hodgson says England are wary of France's attacking talent ahead of the much-anticipated Group D opener.

France are unbeaten in 21 games, and scored nine goals in their three pre-tournament friendlies.

"You have to be aware of the array of talent going forward," said Hodgson.

"They are great in the final third. The main thing is to nullify the threat they create around our penalty area."

France manager Laurent Blanc was pleased with the availability of all his players.

"Our objective is to pick the best team possible," he said.

"For Yann M'Vila, Blaise Matuidi and Steve Mandanda, the news is pretty reassuring. The medical staff have done remarkably well to get them back as quickly as possible."

England (probable) : Hart, Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole, Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Downing, Welbeck, Young.

France (probable) : Lloris, Debuchy, Mexes, Rami, Evra, Cabaye, Diarra, Malouda, Nasri, Ribery, Benzema.

There has been a 714-day wait between England's disappointing World Cup exit and their opening Euro 2012 game.

Much has happened since then - but most of it during the last six months. First there was Uefa's two-game suspension for Wayne Rooney as a result of his sending off in qualifying. Then, in February, Fabio Capello quit as head coach following the FA's decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy for a second time.

Most recently a spate of injuries has seen pundits and punters alike write Roy Hodgson's England off before the tournament has even begun. Can the new England manager and his class of 2012 change opinions on the pitch when it matters most?

When Hodgson takes to the dugout in Donetsk he will become the first Englishman to lead the Three Lions at a major competition since Kevin Keegan at Euro 2000.

He is the first ever England boss with previous international management experience following his spells in charge of Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Finland.

He will hope a lucky omen works in his favour - England are unbeaten in the five previous matches they have played at major tournaments on 11 June. That includes a goalless draw with Brazil at the 1958 World Cup and a Gary Lineker-inspired 3-0 victory over Poland at the 1986 World Cup.

Opponents France are world football's form team and enter Euro 2012 unbeaten in 21 matches, including 15 wins. The last team to beat them were Belarus in September 2010 and, if they avoid defeat to England, it would represent the second longest unbeaten run in French football history.

Their renaissance is a far cry from the dismal displays at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, when they finished bottom of their group at both tournaments.

Most of the credit goes to head coach Laurent Blanc, a man known as 'Le President' because of his authority and leadership skills.

He has injected youth and desire in the shape of Yohan Cabaye and Yann M'Vila, organisation via centre-back Adil Rami, and also has the flair and goals of Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery. If it all clicks then the French might just justify that dark horse status many have assigned them.


  • France beat England 2-1 in their opening match of Euro 2004, the last competitive meeting between the two countries. Zinedine Zidane scored an injury-time double after Frank Lampard had headed England ahead.
  • Their only other European Championship finals meeting was a goalless draw in Malmo at Euro 92.
  • France are unbeaten in five matches against England (W4, D1), and have won the last three. Their last defeat was at Le Tournoi on 7 June 1997, when Alan Shearer scored the only goal.


  • Laurent Blanc could emulate Germany's Berti Vogts, the only man to win the European Championship as both player and coach (in 1972 and 1996).
  • Les Bleus have claimed just two points from six group matches at the last two major tournaments.
  • France scored 15 times in qualifying - Greece (14) are the only side at Euro 2012 who netted fewer. The Danes and the Czech Republic also scored 15, with the Czechs' tally including three play-off goals.
  • Karim Benzema has scored more goals (seven) and recorded more assists (five) than any other French player since Blanc took over.
  • In 202 minutes of football for France, Olivier Giroud has delivered three assists and scored one goal.
  • Only five of the French squad featured at Euro 2008.


  • England have played in the most European Championships (seven) without managing to win the tournament. They have also been eliminated in the group stage four times, more than anyone else.
  • They have failed to win their opening match in all seven previous European Championships (D3, L4). They have lost the last two - 3-2 v Portugal in 2000 and 2-1 v France in 2004.
  • Manager Roy Hodgson has faced France once before in international football. His Switzerland side won 2-1 against them in a friendly match in Lausanne in May 1992.
  • Sixteen of the 19 goals that England have scored since the turn of 2011 have come in the opening hour.
  • John Terry and Joleon Lescott have started just two games together for England - both wins against Andorra in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

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