Hosts France kick off the 15th edition of the European Championships on Friday night hoping to win the competition for the third time.
Didier Deschamps’ men are the bookies’ favourites to lift the trophy at the Stade de France on 10 July and, in doing so, replicate the achievements of 1984 and 2000.
Group A: France, Romania, Albania, Switzerland
France are clear favourites to progress in top spot and Switzerland will be fancied to qualify alongside them despite a less-than-convincing qualifying campaign.
Romania will set up with players behind the ball and could potentially frustrate the hosts, while Albania did beat France in a friendly back in June 2015, so perhaps Group A is potentially more dangerous than it appears on the surface.
Eliaquim Mangala and Bacary Sagna
With Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri both out of favour with Didier Deschamps, City will have two representatives in the France squad in the shape of Eliaquim Mangala and Bacary Sagna.
Bacary’s place in the XI looks assured after he started all of the warm-up friendlies but Eliaquim Mangala will probably have to settle for a place on the bench when the tournament gets under way.
Sagna: “The pressure is on us. We know Romania don't have big names, but they are players who have done well finishing second of their group with the best defence of all the qualifying teams. It'll be difficult for us and we will respect them.”
What is it about talismanic French midfielders playing for Juventus?
In 1984 it was Michel Platini and it was Zinedine Zidane in 2000 – will Paul Pogba continue this lineage in 2016?
Pogba has it all and is arguably the best midfielder of his generation but there is a sense that he has underperformed in France shirt up to now.
With the lack of a natural no.10, it’s expected that Pogba will operate in a more advanced role than he’s employed in for his club and so the stage looks set for the 23-year old to answer his critics this summer.
He won the World Cup and the European Championships as a player and this surely represents his best chance to land a major international tournament as a coach.
It’s been a tough few months for the France boss off the field but recent performances on it have suggested that the 47-year old has found the right formula for success on home soil.
How they got there…
France qualified automatically as hosts.
Lloris, Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra, Kante, Matuidi, Pogba, Payet, Griezmann, Giroud
Why they’ll do it
You only have to look at the players who probably won’t make the France XI to understand the strength in depth and, unlike some of the other major contenders, they have a squad all at the right age.
If they win a relatively straightforward group as they should, France will face one of the third-place teams from Groups C, D or E, meaning they should have a clear run at the last eight.
Why they might not
If France have a weakness, it’s in defence. Aside from the comfortable 3-0 friendly win over Scotland last time out, they have a nasty habit of conceding soft goals. They shipped at least two in the four games prior to the Scotland win.
Friday 10 June: France v Romania, 8pm
Wednesday 15 June: France v Albania, 8pm
Sunday 19 June: France v Switzerland, 8pm
Betsafe odds to win outright