Football

French toast

Deschamps pays tribute to his high-flying team

If the country itself has been marred by social strife and miserable weather and weighed down by terrorism fears, Didier Deschamps' France team have had a difficult build-up to Euro 2016 due to the Karim Benzema affair and injuries to key players in defence.

However, the reality is that France merit their tag as one of the pre-tournament favourites to win the European Championship.

"We will be ready. We have been preparing for two years," said Deschamps, whose side kick off their Euro bid against Romania at the Stade de France on Saturday morning (Singapore time).

"This was good for confidence. We showed we are capable of scoring goals and we didn't concede any.

"It is positive, but we are not getting carried away and neither are the players.

ATTACKING POTENTIAL

"The difficulty will come against Romania, but this was our last preparation game and it is always good to end on a high note."

Despite the absence of Real Madrid star Benzema, sidelined due to his implication in the Mathieu Valbuena sex-tape blackmail scandal, this is a team bristling with attacking potential.

Against Scotland, France may have won only by three, but they could easily have won by double that margin and they have now netted 13 times in four matches in 2016.

Les Bleus have also won nine of 10 games going back to September, the sole exception being the 2-0 defeat by England at Wembley, played in a difficult context just days after the November Paris terror attacks.

Watching from the stands, Romania assistant coach Viorel Moldovan can only have admired France's attacking strength, as the maligned Olivier Giroud followed up his goal in Tuesday's 3-2 win over Cameroon in Nantes with a brace.

"He already answered (the critics) in Nantes. He scored again and the other players are behind him," said Deschamps of a player who has seven goals in France's last seven outings.

The only doubt regarding Deschamps' line-up appears to be in attack, where Dimitri Payet and Anthony Martial are contesting one place.

But the rest of the puzzle seems well in place. - AFP.

Euro 2016FrancefriendlyScotlanddidier deschampsLes BleusOlivier Giroud