France hopes expanded Euro 2016 can shake off security fears to flourish

• Host nation beefs up security after November attacks in Paris
• At least 500,000 fans are expected at tournament from UK alone

At the national stadium where three suicide bombers targeted thousands of football fans in November amid attacks across Paris that killed 130 people, France’s footballers kick off Euro 2016 on Friday night desperately hoping to shift the focus back to action on the pitch.

At the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, one stop from the Gare du Nord station that will welcome British fans, Didier Deschamps’ exciting side will attempt to pull the country out of the “spiral of negativity” that organisers say has blighted preparations in the opening game against Romania.

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