Benzema expecting to face a 'strong' England side

The forward has told his team-mates not to rest on their laurels against the Three Lions in the first Group D game but stated that he does not fear Roy Hodgson's men

France striker Karim Benzema is expecting to face a “strong” England side in France's Euro 2012 opener.

“We know it's going to be difficult against England,” Benzema to UEFA’s official website.

Roy Hodgson’s men have lost the likes of Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill during their tournament preparations, with the inexperienced Jordan Henderson and Martin Kelly called upon as replacements.

And the Lyon-born forward believes that his fellow compatriots should not rest on their laurels during Monday’s clash.

“They're a strong side with some fine players," Benzema said.

However, the Real Madrid forward is not feeling the nerves ahead of the vital Group D games.

"I don't feel pressure, there hasn't been a game in which I've felt pressure,” he said.

Asked if he feared pitting his wits against some of the Premier League’s biggest names in John Terry and Steven Gerrard, Benzema was blunt in his response.

"I manage the expectation very well, it's part of my job. At [Real] Madrid, I'm always under pressure and it's more or less the same with France. But I don't put extra pressure on myself," Benzema explained.

He added, “There are other players in this team - it's not only me. The most important thing is that I'm feeling good and I'm ready to help the team."

"I don't fear any other players. I like Steven Gerrard but I don't fear anyone.”