France captain Hugo Lloris believes Euro 2012 has arrived at an opportune moment for Laurent Blanc’s side.
On a 21-match unbeaten run, France open their Group D campaign on Monday against England, with the Lyon goalkeeper quietly confident over his side’s chances.
“The Euros come at just the right time for France. We are improving step-by-step and we are conscious that we can achieve something good,” Lloris told Goal.com.
“But we have our feet on the ground and we are thinking about our debut, which is the most important match for us in recent times.”
France have been labelled as favourites heading into the match in Donetsk, yet Lloris believes the encounter will be a tough affair, pinpointing England’s defensive style as something France must be wary of.
“England won’t be an easy rival. With the change of coach, they have changed their system and it’s normal they should play on the counter. That will give us even more problems,” Lloris said.
“England use more of a direct style with (manager Roy) Hodgson than they did before under (Fabio) Capello.
“That will oblige us to make an even greater effort and we will have to ensure they don’t cause us problems from dead-ball situations.
“That has always been one of their great weapons and we have to counteract it however we can.
“Just because England have suffered a lot of injuries and other situations doesn’t mean the match will be comfortable. On the contrary, it will be very hard because the three points are worth their weight in gold and can condition the rest of the tournament.
“It’s normal that people see us as favourites for this match, but in my head nothing has changed – this one is 50-50 whatever people say. And anything can happen.
Lloris, however, is pleased that England forward Wayne Rooney will miss the game because of suspension.
“In football you have to say things as they are and the fact that Rooney isn’t playing against us is a small advantage for France,” he said.
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