- Associated Press - Saturday, December 12, 2015

PARIS (AP) - Host France escaped with a relatively straightforward group in the 2016 European Championship after being drawn on Saturday with newcomer Albania, Romania, and Switzerland.

Here are other essential things to know about Group A:

THE BIG MATCH: In a relatively weak-looking group, the biggest match is the final game between Switzerland and France in Lille on June 19. The French will be the more confident side given recent form, having thrashed the Swiss 5-2 in the group stage at last year’s World Cup - with Karim Benzema arguably having his best game for France.

PLAYER TO WATCH: With Benzema looking likely to miss the tournament due to an ongoing legal case in which he has been charged with conspiracy to blackmail, France looks like needing a new talisman. This is now Paul Pogba’s big chance to match the hype. The Juventus star is the most sought-after midfielder in Europe, with his valuation in the 100-million euros bracket, but for France he can sometimes look out of sorts. His attacking panache means he loves to burst forward, but coach Didier Deschamps wants him to play a deeper role because of his dynamic tackling.

PROJECTED TOP TWO: France should win the group ahead of Switzerland, with Albania and Romania both lacking enough firepower to threaten.



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