A nation expects and the bookmakers do too as the pre-tournament favourites to lift the trophy get Euro 2016 underway on Friday evening in front of a hopeful home crowd in Paris.
France of course will be missing their best defender and their best forward respectively with Real Madrid duo Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema not in the squad, yet Les Bleus have great strength in depth and with four successive friendly wins they come into the tournament with some momentum.
Their opponents for the opening game are the side who conceded the fewest goals in qualifying, with Romania's total of just two goals against in 10 matches being the key to their progression to the finals. This is not, however, a competition in which Anghel Iordanescu's side boast a good record with their only victory ever at the European Championships coming against England back in 2000.
Anyone yet to sign up for an account with Betway can take up an enhanced price of 4/1 (5.0) on the odds on favourites. To take advantage of this offer simply sign up using this link, back France at the usual price shown on site and if they win, the returns will be topped up to the enhanced value. If Didier Deschamps' men don't open their account with a victory then everyone who has backed this offer will be given a free bet.
These two sides met the last time Romania qualified for the competition back in 2008, playing out a 0-0 draw in the group stages, while their last meeting in a friendly came in 2011 which also finished goalless and with such an impressive defensive record in qualifying, it could prove to be a relatively low-key opening to the tournament.
France have the players to win, but they will need character to withstand the pressure of expectation as well as patience to break down what is likely to be an extremely defensive Romanian side. It might take a while for them to find the spaces they need to cause their opponents problems and to this end, backing the second half to be the highest scoring at 11/10 (2.10) looks appealing.
Opening matches to major tournaments are often slightly nervy affairs as the hosts struggle with the weight of expectation, as well as the rigour of competitive football after two years of friendly matches.
In three of the last four opening games of the European Championships, the second half has been the highest scoring half, with both teams coming into the match more after the break and backing a repeat on Friday looks like an intelligent bet.
|Second half to be the highest scoring at 11/10 (2.10) with Betway|