There is no doubt that both of these teams are outsiders for Euro 2012 glory, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t ambitious. Both France and England are proud football nations and will know that they do have a chance of going all the way.
To do so, they need to win this game though. With the first objective to get out of the group, these two favourites to progress would love three points to begin with.
The losing side will have to go into the final two games – against Ukraine and Sweden – with it all still to do. Victory in this opening fixture on the other hand sets things up very nicely.
England in particular need a good start to make sure they believe in themselves. So far under new manager Roy Hodgson it has been two wins from two games and more of the same, against a strong France side, would do wonders for their confidence.
The Three Lions do have some talented players in their side – not least Steven Gerrard, Ashley Young and Theo Walcott – but the basis of their success this summer is likely to be on a solid backline and counter attacking football.
As for France, they are a team brimming with confidence right now, especially going forward. If England are likely to be slightly reserved in this game, France will not.
Laurent Blanc has them playing some fantastic football and they are being considered as the dark horses by many. If they can get past a resilient England side, they could go from strength to strength as the tournament goes on.
Overall, after a fantastic start to the tournament, this should be a cracking match. Both teams will be desperate to make an impression from 5pm on Monday evening.