thumbnail Hello,

The Manchester City playmaker believes Roy Hodgson's side are likely to emerge as group winners, but Wayne Rooney's two-game suspension may hurt them

France midfielder Samir Nasri has tipped England as the favourites to win Group D at Euro 2012.

The Manchester City man will face Roy Hodgson's side on June 11 when the two nations kick off their tournament.

Nasri also suggested that Wayne Rooney’s two-game suspension offers hope for “outsiders” France, and the other teams in the group, Sweden and Ukraine.

"We are outsiders, the English are the favourites for the group,” he told reporters.

"England have young players like [Danny] Welbeck, but also like Wayne Rooney, who will miss the first [two] games. This is a good thing for us."

The former Arsenal man believes the youthful nature of the current France set-up leaves the door open for Sweden and the Ukraine to challenge for progression to the knockout stage.

The likes of Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny, Montpellier captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Newcastle duo Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa have all been included in the provisional squad named by Laurent Blanc, but none have previous experience at an international tournament.

Nasri added: "We are a young team lacking experience in this kind of competition. This is an open group for me.”

Related

From the web