By Amber Marsh (Albania), Jed Woodcock (Romania), Jack Rodway (France) & Matt Cowdock (Switzerland)

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Jed and I paint our faces in our adopted nations colours

Albania (Amber Marsh)

“Love is understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses”

This is how my boyfriend feels about football. And tonight we become rivals as our teams face each other at Euro 2016. A love story to end all love stories. And so here we are… Albania vs Romania. As much as I love my Romanian rescue cat Oswald – Albania are ma boys tonight.

Last time out

Well what can I say? We held on… In actual fact we were smashing it – yes we hadn’t got any goals ourselves but neither had France! We had prevented Les Bleus from scoring… until the last 5 minutes.

_89993038_shotsAs you can see from this photo (right) – France badgered the Albanian goal with 22 shots off target, and only two, shown by the green arrows – hit the target. Good pressure from Albania clearly!

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France 2 – 0 Albania

Albania limited the home team to only a few worrying attacks until the dramatic finish. Attacks of their own may have been sporadic – especially in the second half – but they did offer a few warning signs for France.

But in the end, my poor Albania – lacked the defence in the last few minutes to secure a decent draw.

How I will watch it

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Two Romanians and an Albanian

There’s two times of year for Jed: Football season, and waiting for football season. And the fact that he will be able to sit on the sofa with the Romanian colours painted on his face whilst his girlfriend does the same with Albanian colours is probably going to be the highlight of his year.

However it is Father’s Day – and my father HATES football with a passion. “Football is for girls, rugby is better”. So somehow Jed is going to have to get my Dad to either watch it (fat chance of that) or get him in the attic to play the guitar for 90 minutes. Both of these options have very little chance of success. But either way – we shall watch this game!

Prediction: Romania 1 – 2 Albania

I predict that Romania are going to be rubbish and Albania are going to pick up their first win, and sneak through to the knock-out stages as one of the four 3rd placed teams. This is all I can say as the internet has gone down at work so I can’t check my trusted BBC Sport for the match statistics.

Jed Woodcock! Prepare your team and practice well – For tonight, we dine in Stade des Lumières.

Final group standings:

  1. France
  2. Switzerland
  3. Albania
  4. Romania

Romania (Jed Woodcock)

Florin Andone has my heart tonight

Florin Andone has my heart tonight

Roses are red, violets are blue,

Florin Andone is coming for you.
Before the tournament began, I would have never expected the clash between Romania and Albania to be the biggest game I was looking forward to. Two teams clash with their European Championships future hanging in the balance. Two proud nations looking to secure their place in the knockout rounds of the competition. 22 players ready to battle it out on the pitch at the Stade des Lumières. And not only that but bragging rights are at stake as my sweepstake team, Romania take on my girlfriend’s Albania.

Last time out

How I look back on Romania’s game against Switzerland will hugely depend on how tonight’s game goes. Was it a good point secured against a bigger team? Or was it an opportunity lost at grabbing three points?

Bogdan Stancu found the back of the net from the penalty spot again, but Switzerland rallied and Mehmedi’s goal brought me back down to earth. The only thing I can complain about is the lack of involvement from my previously touted star men – Nicolae Stanciu and Florin Andone. I’m hoping Anghel Iordănescu sees sense and starts the youthful pair who will be sure to make an impact against Albania.

How I will watch it

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Me and my Romanian brother Oswald are ever optimistic tonight

As the clock strikes eight, a romantic sweepstake rivalry will commence as my Romania take on Amber’s Albania.

Inspired by Romania’s national dish, we will be stuffing our faces with mititei and sarmale pulled pork burgers, sitting in the comfort of the living room ready to tune in to BBC4.

To some tonight might just be a football match between two irrelevant footballing nations. However my place in the bed is at risk.

Romania’s nine lives may well be up, but with Oswald, the unofficial Tricolorii mascot, ready to lend a few – the tournament might not be over just yet for the Eastern European nation.

Prediction: Romania 2 – 0 Albania

Even though one of Oswald’s feline friends predicts an Albanian win on YouTube – me and Ozzie are staying true to our hearts and going for a Romania victory. Sorry Amber.

A win against Albania should see the team progress to the next round, in either 2nd or 3rd place – depending on other results. Stanciu and Andone will each grab a goal and Amber Albania will be kicked out of the Euros.

But then just as I’m certain that I’ll be sleeping alone following a Romania victory, doubts set in. Surely Romania will be too strong for Albania? But then again I had thought Ukraine would comfortably beat Northern Ireland and that Austria would easily overcome Hungary. And look how that turned out.

Final group standings:

  1. France
  2. Romania
  3. Switzerland
  4. Albania

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France (Jack Rodway)

Last time out

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Griezmann and Payet’s late goals condemned Albania to their second loss at Euro 2016

Rather like their first game against Romania, France were unimpressive in their 2-0 win against Albania and once against it was another late, late show. Stoppage time goals from Griezmann and Payet would save the blushes of the French nation. Didier Deschamps sprung a couple of surprises with his team selection with Pogba and Griezmann – France’s two most high profile players – dropping to the bench. Eyebrows were certainly raised, but it seemed to have the desired effect on them when the pair came on in the second half.

After Griezmann’s match winning contribution, today is the day when Pogba truly introduces himself to the Euro’s. Since his poor showing against Romania, the French media certainly started to sharpen their knives and slammed the young Frenchman’s performance. This can be the day where he can finally shut them up for good.

How I will watch it

So here it is, the end of three televised matches played at three separate times, it was fun while it lasted. I still haven’t decided whether or not to watch this game or the other game in the group, Albania vs Romania which undoubtedly has more riding on it. As it is France playing I’d imagine I will start off watching this match, but I will not take much persuading to switch between the two.

Prediction: Switzerland 1 – 2 France

With the French already qualified for the last 16, it remains to be seen whether or not Deschamps decides to rest some of his star players, especially with Kante and Giroud both one booking away from a suspension. For the neutrals a repeat of their 5-2 victory over the Swiss at the 2014 World Cup would be most welcome, but I can’t see lightning striking twice. This again will be another close encounter where the French come out on top by the one goal. It would probably be the least surprising outcome if we see yet another late French winner. 2-1 France.

Final group standings:

  1. France
  2. Switzerland
  3. Romania
  4. Albania

Switzerland (Matt Cowdock)

How I will watch it

So here we are. Euro 2016 has already reached Matchday 3 of the group stages and we now have a reasonably good idea of some of the teams going through to the last 16 stage. This includes hosts France, who play my sweepstake hopefuls Switzerland tonight. The Swiss, however, need a point to secure second place and an assured spot in the next round.

“The pub is an enticing prospect but I have work early tomorrow and plan on saving my resources for the England game on Monday night”

I’ll be digesting the action at home – the pub is an enticing prospect but I have work early tomorrow and plan on saving my resources for the England game on Monday night.

Last time out

The last game against Romania was probably the one where Switzerland had their best chance to seize the initiative in the race for top spot. Unfortunately, Romania were awarded a penalty which was subsequently converted, meaning that Switzerland spent much of the afternoon chasing the game. Given that their fulcrum to the attack is a desperately out-of-form Haris Seferovic, they suffered badly. There’s only so much that Xherdan Shaqiri can do, and even his jinking runs and slaloming dribbles weren’t enough to gain parity.

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Swiss players congratulate Mehmedi for his equaliser against Romania

The equaliser came from a poorly defended set-piece, but the quality of the strike from Admir Mehmedi can’t be understated. He struck it on the volley through a crowd of players and really, Ciprian Tatarusanu had no chance.

Granit Xhaka was awarded man of the match. He really does look an excellent player — his distribution is every bit as good as it was at Borussia Monchengladbach and with the roaming exploits of Ricardo Rodriguez as well as the aforementioned Mehmedi and Shaqiri, his long passes are an outstanding asset on the break. Given that France will likely seek to control the game, Xhaka could again prove vital. If he can win the ball and spray it to the onrushing attackers as usefully as we know we can, it could be a closer encounter than some may think.

Prediction: Switzerland 1 – 2 France

I think France will win. Switzerland should be able to grab a goal given the French defensive woes and this will be their sternest test yet but I think Switzerland don’t look particularly stable at the back. It’ll be cagey, but I can’t see the Swiss beating the hosts.

Final group standings:

  1. France
  2. Switzerland
  3. Romania
  4. Albania