Maradona: France have the edge over England

The Argentine legend feels that Les Bleus go into Monday's game as the favourites, but added that the Three Lions' humble attitude towards their own expectations could aid them

Diego Maradona believes France have the edge over England ahead of their Group D encounter on Monday.

The former Argentina international feels that Les Bleus are in better shape physically and have had more time to gel, but added that Roy Hodgson’s lack of preparation with the Three Lions and the national side’s subsequent lower expectations would work to their advantage.

"France have had a resurgence under coach Laurent Blanc after their humiliating performance at the South African World Cup," Maradona stated in his column in Times of India.

20/1 France and England are 20/1 to draw 2-2 at Euro 2012 with bet365

"The [Three] Lions have to undertake the tournament in Donetsk with a new coach Roy Hodgson and losing Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill in defence. The English, for once, are approaching this European Championship with something approaching humility and it might well serve them if they were to win this first important game.

"Physically the French are in better shape, though, and haven’t had the injuries, and suspensions of the English team. The coach has had sufficient time to gel his team together, and so I must give slight edge to the French.

"But it’s very close, and as both teams have very talented players it should be an excellent game."

Monday's match in Donetsk kicks off at 18:00CET.