Hodgson makes France favourites for England’s Euro 2012 opener

England manager Roy Hodgson has admitted that while he expects his side to compete with France in their opening match of Euro 2012, he still makes Laurent Blanc’s country the favourites for the match, the Guardian has reported.

Hodgson pointed to France’s long unbeaten run, stretching back 20 games, as evidence the former Manchester United defender has a well-drilled squad at his disposal, something Hodgson, appointed barely a month ago, cannot yet claim. He added: “I am happier we are moving towards a team that can not only give them a game and, if we have a bit of luck on our side, perhaps we can win it. But I don’t think we’ll go into the game as favourites.

England wrapped up their preparations for the tournament with a 1-0 victory over Belgium at Wembley on Saturday, the second single-goal triumph in as many matches of the Hodgson era. France, by contrast, play their final friendly of the summer against Estonia on Tuesday in France. Les Bleus defeated Serbia in their last outing, with goals from Franck Ribery and Florent Malouda delivering a 2-0 win. The other two teams making up Group D are Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine.

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