- Premier League
Lloris: I expect France and England to qualify
The Lyon goalkeeper feels his side and Roy Hodgson's men are in a good position to progress to the knock-out stage of Euro 2012, and hopes to avoid Spain in the quarter-finalEXCLUSIVE
By Francisco Delgado
France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris says that he thinks Les Bleus will advance to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 from Group D along with England.
The two Group D favourites drew 1-1 in their opening clash in Poland and Ukraine, before winning their second matches to head into Tuesday's final fixtures in a strong position to progress to the quarter-finals.
"I expected France and England to get through this group," Lloris told Goal.com in an exclusive interview. "And as things stand, it looks as if that will be the case, but there are still 90 minutes left and it’s no good being over-confident."
And the 25-year-old says Laurent Blanc's side have not achieved anything yet, despite their promising start to the continental competition.
"We are satisfied with our play so far at the European Championship," he explained. "The sensations are good, but we still haven’t won anything. We have to beat Sweden and finish as group winners."
Sweden have lost both of their games and have already been knocked out of the tournament, but Lloris claims that makes them a dangerous rival on Tuesday.
"The Swedes are out of the Euros, but that doesn't mean anything," he added. "It’s their farewell game and they will want to give a good account of themselves.
"We are not taking anything for granted and we know it won’t be an easy match. You can’t take any rival for granted, whoever they are."
And the former Nice keeper is surprised Sweden have flopped in Poland and Ukraine.
"I expected more from Sweden at the Euros, but losing the first game against Ukraine after being ahead was a big blow for them and that showed in their second match, against England," he pondered.
France, meanwhile, followed up their draw against England with a pleasing performance in the 2-0 win over Ukraine.
"We feel better as every game goes by - in every sense," he revealed. "We have done things well so far and we have to make it count by beating Sweden.
"We know our fans are happy with how we have done so far at the Euros, but we still haven’t qualified for the quarter-finals and that’s our first objective."
And the next objective will be to finish top of the group - and avoid champions Spain in the second round.
"If it’s possible we would like to avoid Spain in the quarter-finals, yes. But at the moment we are only concerned with Sweden and getting to the second phase," Lloris concluded.
Should France top Group D, they would face a quarter-final tie with Italy - a repeat of the Euro 2000 final.
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