Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Euro 2016 Preview - Group A: Romania and Albania

Tonight, it's the turn of the also-rans in Group A, starting with Romania:

Nickname: "Tricolorii" ("The Tri-colors")

Absurd FIFA ranking: 19th

Coach: Anghei Iordianescu

Match Schedule: 

June 10 - Romania v. France (Saint Denis, 3pm EST, ESPN)
June 15 - Romania v. Switzerland (Paris, 12pm, ESPN)
June 19 - Romania v. Albania  (Lyon, 3pm, ESPN)

Prospects: Romania have had some excellent footballing sides in the past; this is not one of those times. Fortunately for the Tricolors, they've got a reasonably kind draw and should be able to qualify as one of the best third placed teams. Iordinaescu has been around since the glory days of 1984 but the current squad is thinner on the ground and basically picks itself.

Prediction: Not quite enough firepower to edge out Switzerland for third, although it will be a close thing and the last group matches on June 19th may determine the final standings. Out in Round of 16.

More intriguing is Albania, who are making their first appearance in this competition:

Nickname: "Kuq e Kinjte" ("The Red and Blacks")

Absurd FIFA ranking: 45th

Coach: Gianni de Biasi

Match Schedule: 

June 11 - Albania v. Switzerland (Lens, 9am EST, ESPN)
June 15 - Albania v. France  (Marseille, 3pm, ESPN)
June 19 - Albania v. Romania  (Lyon, 3pm, ESPN)

Prospects: Albania are true unknowns in this tournament with few A-list footballers who will be recognizable to fans of the European game. The draw has been unkind to them, as they would have preferred to meet the French right out of the gate, as Les Bleus are notoriously slow starters in tournaments. De Biasi has worked miracles to get them to this stage and has one shining new star in 19 year old Vitesse Arnheim striker Milot Rashica to look out for. But it's difficult to put any money on this lot to finish anywhere but last in this group.

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