Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Hodgson wary of France threat ahead of England's Euro 2012 opener


The Three Lions boss has pinpointed the attacking talent at Laurent Blanc's disposal as an area for concern, while suggesting his side will look to expose les Bleus' full backs.

England manager Roy Hodgson has pinpointed France’s attacking threat as an area for concern ahead of the Three Lions' Euro 2012 opener on June 11.

Hodgson's side kicks off its European Championship campaign against les Bleus before facing Sweden and Ukraine.
Laurent Blanc has an array of attacking talent at his disposal including Franck Ribery, Karim Benzema and Samir Nasri, making Hodgson aware his side will need to be at its absolute best to nullify the French.
“We have to be aware of the array of talent they have going forward,” Hodgson told William Hill. “They’ve got some very, very talented players who are very good in the final third. In and around the penalty area they’ve got players who are very clever at beating a man and getting their shots away.
“They ask a lot of questions about defenders when they get the ball in the final third. It’s going to be very important for us to defend against them properly.”
Although wary of France’s attacking threat, Hodgson believes England could profit from the team's attacking nature.
The 64-year-old believes his side can exploit the gaps left in les Bleus’ defense on the break and has highlighted the full back positions as an area which could pay dividends for the Three Lions.
“We need to make sure they break quickly and maybe use some of the spaces that they are going to leave behind when their two full backs are as offensive as they were in the recent matches," he said. “With [Mathieu] Debuchy and [Patrice] Evra they play very, very high up the field so we have to make sure we try and exploit those spaces.”

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