Today sees two of the biggest names in football go head to head in Ukraine, in a game which neither team can afford to lose.
For 90 minutes both nations will put their respective economic quagmires to one side, as Roy Hodgson's injury plagued England face Lauren Blanc's resurgent French contingent.
Two of the biggest names in football go head to head
Those expecting fireworks are likely to be sorely disappointed. Instead, expect the game to be as sluggish as both countries GDP figures.
Pardon the cliché, but this game has stalemate written all over it.
Sentiment for both squads is so depressed as to be on a par with investing in European equities right now, with defeat in the first game almost certain to lead to an early plane home.
England have a number of triple-A rated players out, with Wayne Rooney missing through suspension and Frank Lampard out due to injury.
France, on the other hand, have not won a game at a major championship since reaching the World Cup final in 2006. Getting off to a good start is paramount to maintaining squad harmony, following the civil war which plagued their World Cup campaign two years ago.
The French squad boycotted training in a mark of protest after star striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home from the squad for verbally abusing Raymond Domenech, the French coach at the time.
Since taking over Laurent Blanc has restored belief and confidence, triggering a 21-match unbeaten run.
On paper France are the better team, with their main goal scoring threats coming from Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery, while England's best option is the highly inexperienced Danny Welbeck.
England's best hope is to keep it tight at the back and soak up pressure, in an attempt to poach a goal on the counter attack.
For the first time in decades England are not in danger of being crushed by the weight of expectation on their shoulders, which may inspire the player's to prove their worth.
However, bookmakers are pricing England to win the tournament at 16/1 for a reason, which incidentally is the same odds Paddy Power are pricing Hector Sants will be appointed the next governor of the Bank of England, so place your bets wisely....
Enjoy the game.
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