France free of pressure ahead of Albania game: Lloris

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France free of pressure ahead of Albania game: Lloris

Posted on : Wednesday 15th of June 2016

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Paris: France captain Hugo Lloris believes the hosts have shaken off the early Euro 2016 pressure ahead of their second Group A game against Albania at the Stade Velodrome on Wednesday.

France looked tight in a last-gasp 2-1 win against Romania at the Stade de France in the opening game of the tournament last Friday, but victory has given them the confidence they needed after two years without playing a competitive game.

"The mental aspect is essential," Lloris told a news conference on Tuesday.

"It will be a totally different game tomorrow. The first match we did not exactly know what to expect, we had more pressure than usual."

France will be all but guaranteed qualification if they beat Albania, who lost 1-0 to Switzerland in their opener.

Albania will be without their suspended captain Lorik Cana, who was sent off against Switzerland, and are likely to take a conservative approach.

"We'll have to go and get that victory. When it's difficult like that we must be patient," France coach Didier Deschamps said.

"They are a well-organised side, they have an Italian coach. They have physical qualities, but also mental qualities."

Albania beat France in their last meeting a year ago, a 1-0 victory in a friendly in Elbasan, seven months after the teams had drawn 1-1 in Rennes.

"They caused us some trouble in Rennes and even more last year even if we were a bit on holidays then. But that's no excuse," Deschamps said.

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