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Blanc: France not worthy of favourites tag

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Jun 2012

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France coach Laurent Blanc insists that his side should not be considered among the favourites to win Euro 2012.

Much is expected of Blanc’s men, who extended their unbeaten run to 21 games with a 4-0 friendly win over Estonia on Tuesday.

However, the former Bordeaux coach believes his side are not among the main contenders to lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy in Kiev on July 1.

“We are not favourites. I am not the only one to say this, there are only two or three teams who are favourites to win Euro 2012: Spain, Germany and Netherlands,” Blanc told reporters.

“These three teams can hope to win the tournament, at least initially.”

Although his defence kept a clean sheet against Estonia, Blanc was critical of his side’s back line and he is aware that his country’s chances of success in Poland and Ukraine will depend heavily on a solid rearguard.

“We relied on a good defence during the qualifications for Euro 2012, even if we often changed personnel,” he said.

“I hope that we will realise our potential because without a strong defence, we cannot go very far.”

Blanc also defended midfielder Samir Nasri’s current form, while stating that the Manchester City midfielder should not be compared with the in-form Franck Ribery.

“Samir’s making progress, but he can do a lot better. When I hear people say that he’s not like Franck, I can only say that they’re simply not the same type of players,” he said.

France’s opening Group D game is against England on Monday.

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