Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta said France have the potential to make England ‘suffer’ in their first group game of Euro 2012.
The 28 year-old playmaker believes that the improvement that this current France side have made under the stewardship of former Barcelona defender Blanc is in marked contrast to the shambolic nature of England’s preparations, and he feels that this could have an affect on the result.
“I have watched France on television several times and I think they are going to make England suffer,” Iniesta told reporters.
“The French have improved under Laurent Blanc and the connection between Yohan Cabaye, Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema is a very dangerous one.
“A few months ago I had my doubts. But now I believe France are better than England.
“England have changed their coach and system. They’ve also suffered some important blows off the pitch and that’s a pity, as this is such a key game for them.”
England will go into their game against France without star striker Wayne Rooney, who will have to sit out the fixture due to a two-game suspension, and Iniesta believes that missing him from the very start of the tournament could have an impact on England’s chances of making it out of the group.
“Wayne Rooney will be missed for both his goals and his work-rate,” Iniesta said.
“In normal circumstances, England and France would pass through to the quarter-finals. But the first match can change the course of the group.”
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