UEFA European Cup 2016 kick-off: France versus Romania

France will meet Romania on the opener of the 2016 EuroThe French national team has never lost a competitive match to the Southeast Europeans. Nevertheless, experts who bet on soccer expect this one to a close contest, based on recent encounters. France and Romania have played each other officially on eight occasions; the former have won three of those matches, while the rest have ended in a draw (including four of the last five). The opening match of the Euro 2016 will be held on June 10th at Stade de France, Saint-Denis; t heir only previous game in that venue was a 1-1 draw in a World Cup qualifying game in September 2009. The two squads first met in a EURO 1996 finals game in Newcastle on June 10th, which France won 1-0 with the lone goal scored by Cristophe Dugarry – can soccer betting history repeat itself 20 years to the day? Well, other than the fact that Dugarry has been retired for over a decade.

Fans who bet on soccer might want to note that France has opened the Euro as host twice before. In 1984 they defeated Denmark 1-0 at Parc des Princes, and went on to win the competition. And in 1960, they lost 5-4 to Yugoslavia, in a game that was not only the opener but also one of the semi-finals. It was different times. The hosts' seventeen opening matches in the history of the European Cup have ended in five wins, six losses, and six draws (Italy's 0-0 draw versus the Soviet Union in 1968 was decided with a coin toss and is classified as a draw. France is only one of three teams to have won the tournament as a host, the other two being Spain and Italy.

As for the soccer betting underdogs, this is the first time that Romania will be featured in the opening match of a final tourney. The Carpathian team could become the third to defeat the host in an opening game – in which case they would join Greece (defeated Portugal in 2004) and West Germany (defeated Belgium in 1972). Romania has never started the Euro with a win; they lost their first match of the Euro 96 to France (see above), drew 0-0 in their first Euro 2008 match – again versus France – and 1-1 with Germany at the Euro 2000. Romania went without a win in their most recent Euro (2008) and scored only one goal. The red and yellow team has not in four finals games since beating England 3-2 at the Euro 2000.