Robert Pires hopes France are paired with a reinvigorated and “motivated” England in the Euro 2020 group stage.
Both sides finished top of their qualifying groups to get their name in the hat for Saturday’s draw in Bucharest.
England will host a total of seven matches in next year’s finals and are in Pot 1, while France – despite being world champions – are in Pot 2.
Former Arsenal winger Pires would like to see his native France face off against Gareth Southgate’s side, who he believes will be a big threat in the tournament.
“What’s for sure is that we’re going to draw a big team because unfortunately we’re in Pot 2,” he told Omnisport, speaking as part of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour driven by Nissan.
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) October 29, 2019
“Which one I would like to play against? France-England would be nice.
“I think that we’re strong but the English are having a renaissance and Southgate has built a good team, quite young, with a bit of experience and they can be a good surprise during the next Euros.
“And as you know the final is in London so they will be motivated.”
One team Pires is eager for France to avoid is Spain, who qualified for the competition with an unbeaten record that sets them out among the favourites.
“The team to avoid is always Spain,” added Pires, who won the World Cup and European Championship during his playing days.
“They remain very strong, they’re very skilled and they cause problems to us every time.”
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