Can a resurgent France overcome defensive injuries and the Benzema scandal at Euro 2016?

France-based commentator and presenter Matt Spiro rejoins Team 33 to preview the home nation

Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, France, Euro 2016

Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann Picture by: David Vincent / AP/Press Association Images

Similarly to 1998, France prepare to host a major tournament amid a backdrop of political and social tension.

By winning that World Cup, the France 1998 team was perceived to have brought a level of short-lived unity but there are high hopes that the current crop can deliver at Euro 2016 after let-down performances and behavioural controversies from the national team in the tournaments prior to the 2014 World Cup.

But there are many question marks.

Can Didier Deschamps' men overcome an injury-hit back-line and thrive without former lead striker Karim Benzema after his exclusion after the sex tape scandal involving Mathieu Valbuena?

Well, France are exactly where we're starting our Euro 2016 previews on Newstalk's Team 33 and we were delighted to be joined by Ligue 1 show presenter and beIN Sports' France-based commentator Matt Spiro to look ahead to the tournament from a France perspective.

He discusses the impact of off-the-field issues like the Benzema case, how the defensive issues will impact them and how this team is really starting to gel and earn the appreciation of the fans.

You can listen to the full interview at the start of the podcast player or stream for free on iTunes on your phone:

Next up, we preview Spain this week with ESPN and Radio Marca's Eduardo Alvarez, plus we'll have a look-ahead to Ireland's group rivals and major nations like Italy and England over the coming week or two.

All of those will pop up automatically on iTunes.