Romania could cause shock at Euro 2016

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A lot of pressure was piled on the heads of the Romanian players, as they had to play the opening game of Euro 16 against the host nation, France.

Playing against France is no easy task on any day, but to go up against them when they are kicking off their own tournament meant Romania had a massive task ahead of them.

It was Dimitri Payet that made the difference on the night, as his 89th-minute goal cancelled out the Romanian penalty that the team worked so hard for. 


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Their game plan almost worked perfectly, their defence looked compact and France often struggled to create opportunities. Not only were they solid at the back for the majority of the game, they also offered plenty going forward, wasting two clear chances.

Football can be a harsh game, and losing the way Romania did on the opening night can often be worse than suffering a heavy defeat. However, Romania can keep their heads held high. Their tactics almost held out for the entire game, and the Romanian players can take comfort in the fact that, on paper, their hardest game is over, which could spur a surprisingly successful Euros campaign.

Romania's next opponent Switzerland also won their first game, but they were far from convincing. The Swiss scored early, but offered little after that, and allowed Albania to grow into the game, and create chances, even when down to 10 men.

Switzerland's lack of bite will be excellent news for Romania, who look like they will set up defensively again. They managed to absorb the French attack, so Switzerland could actually prove to be fairly easy in comparison.

Even if they don't manage to offer much going forwards, which is doubtful considering the clear opportunities they created, and how deadly they looked from set pieces, a point will do for Romania to continue their Euro campaign.

It would leave them with only Albania in their way, and despite their noble efforts against Switzerland, it would be expected that the solid Romanian defence would blunt Albania. 

What will be vital to Romania's potential success? Bogdan Stancu will be completely fundamental to them progressing. 

He was incredibly lively in the game against France, and should have scored when he went one-on-one with Hugo Lloris. He buried his penalty, though and looked like Romania's best attacking threat. A solid defence will provide the base for their efforts, but every team needs to score.

However, their defence is vital, and Vlad Chiriches will be the crux of their defence. Against France, he was diligent and strong in dealing with the height of Olivier Giroud. 

With Premier League experience, he can offer a different level to his less accomplished teammates.

If Romania realise that they still have a chance with their two key players, they will feel like they can progress.

How far can Romania go at Euro 2016? Leave us YOUR predictions in the comment section below!

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Paul Pogba
Euro 2016
Premier League
Dimitri Payet

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