| March 24, 2017
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Euro 2016 France vs Albania: Les Bleus look to gain progress from Group A

Euro 2016 France vs Albania: Les Bleus look to gain progress from Group A
MARSEILLE,June15: Host nation France will be looking to gain all three points when they face comparatively weaker side Albania. Head Coach Didier Deschamps want fine performance from his players at the Marseille stadium where he spent several years as player and manager wining silverwares. Albania are searching for their first ever point at a European Championship and want to follow Iceland’s footstep upsetting big boys. France weren’t at their best in their victory over Romania, coach Deschamps will ask better performance from his players especially from his key men Pogba and Griezman. A win would guarantee the hosts' place in the latter stages and potentially end Albania's hopes of reaching the knockout phase.

Team news


France
Deschamps unlikely to change his back four, Captain Hugo Lloris will continue in goalkeeping, Arsenal defender Koscielny and Rami’s central defensive partnership set to be assigned to stop Albanian attackers. Payet expected to be in playmaking role once again, Kante who covered every blade of grass in last match has sewn up his place in s quad. Martial and Coman, two impressive young players are expected to come off the bench at some point in second half.

Likely playing XI:
Lloris; Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra; Kanté, Matuidi; Coman, Payet, Martial; Giroud.

 

Albania
lbania must fill the void  left  by Lorik Cana who was sent off against Swizterland. Ergys Kace is one of several candidates vying to replace the skipper who serves a one-game suspension. 22-year-old right back Elseid Hysaj is one to keep an eye on, with several European sides rumoured to be interested in the Napoli man.  


Plyaing XI:
Berisha; Hysaj, Ajeri, Mavraj, Agolli; Kukeli, Xhaka; Roshi, Abrashi, Lenjani; Sadiku  


Coach quotes

Didier Deschamps, France
There will be great atmosphere, the crowd will be really fired up. This is a proper stadium. The new Velodrome is synonymous with a proper football atmosphere. It’s always great to come back, I was last here in 2004. Back then it was still being renovated, but it’s nice to be here and see people who I spent time as a coach and player.  

Gianni De Biasi, Albania
We know France well. They're playing at home and will be driven on. We'll try to limit as much as possible some of their play and try to break when we get the chance.


Head to head

-France have won four of the six matches they have played against Albania but have failed to win either of the last two meetings.

-Ergys Kace's free-kick effort helped Albania to a 1-0 victory over France when they last met in June 2015.

-Albania have never scored more than once in a game against France (three goals scored in six matches).


Some notable facts

-France have only kept two clean sheets in their last 17 games at European Championship finals (against Romania in 2008 and Ukraine in 2012).

-Giroud has scored 8 goals in last six appearances.

-Dimitri Payet created eight chances against the Romanians - only three players had created more in a Euros game since 1980 (Ozil, 9 v Greece in 2012, McAllister, 10 v Germany in 1992 and Sneijder, 10 vs Denmark in 2012).

-Albania are one of two countries making their major tournament debut at Euro 2016 along with Iceland.

-Albania have lost their last two internationals - they've not lost three in a row since October 2013.