Group A will take full shape following today’s results, as Euro 2016 is set to begin the final rounds of group stage play with France taking on Switzerland and Romania squaring off with Albania, as both games kick at 3 p.m. ET.
France has escaped twice and leads the way, but they have not yet won the group. No team has been eliminated either, but each has a varying degree of probability to move on.
The hosts top the group following a pair of late wins. While they have not secured the group’s top spot, they have guaranteed themselves a place in the knockout stages, and thus manager Didier Deschamps has rotated his squad slightly. The hero so far, Dimitri Payet, has been rested, with Kingsley Coman taking his place in the starting lineup. Paul Pogba also returns to the starting XI for the hosts.
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For Switzerland, they sit on four points, meaning a win over France would snatch away the group title. A draw would guarantee them second place in the group and a spot in the knockout round, while a loss could leave them vulnerable in third. The Swiss have sat Haris Seferovic in favor of 18-year-old Breel Embrolo.
In the other match, Romania and Albania square off with both looking for three tournament-saving points. A win for Romania would put them in decent position to advance, while an Albania win – what would be its first points in a major tournament ever – would give them hope but still leave a lot to be done. A draw does neither any good, which will likely make for an entertaining game.
One odd Group A quirk: if Switzerland loses 2-1 and Romania wins 1-0, all tiebreakers would be equivalent (head-to-head, goal differential, goals scored), meaning fair play – or a reflection of the fewest number of cards – would determine the 2nd and 3rd placed teams.