Meet the quarter-final opposition: France

Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann have caught the eye, but the hosts need to address their slow starts to matches, as's David Crossan explains.

See France’s path to the quarter-finals

Nickname: Les Bleus

Story so far: France topped Group A thanks to last-gasp wins against Romania and Albania and a goalless draw with Switzerland. Coach Didier Deschamps has shown an ability to correct problems with his slow-starting side. That tactical nous was again required in the round of 16 against the Republic of Ireland, when a recalibration into a 4-2-3-1 and an Antoine Griezmann double took France through after falling behind.

Route to last eight: 2-1 Romania, 2-0 Albania, 0-0 Switzerland, 2-1 Republic of Ireland

Star performer: Griezmann's heroics against the Irish on Sunday didn't see him usurp Dimitri Payet as France's outstanding player. The 29-year-old attacker has managed two goals and an assist already and has been a constant menace.

Didier Deschamps (France) Didier Deschamps still faces several issues©AFP/Getty ImagesBest moment: For pure emotion, it has to be Payet's incredible left-foot winner against Romania in the tournament opener. Les Bleus were heading for a disappointing draw until that moment of brilliance from the No8, who celebrated his strike in teary fashion as he contemplated his journey – having spent June 2015 to March 2016 in the international wilderness.

Strengths: France possess individuals capable of turning a game in an instant and there can be no doubting the mental resolve of Deschamps's tight-knit squad. The coach's knack of righting tactical wrongs is crucial.

Weaknesses: France have started matches at a snail's pace. Moreover, they have already conceded two penalties and doubts are invited by their rejigged defence's susceptibility to set plays and balls played in behind the centre-halves.

The Day at EURO featuring Griezmann’s double
Watch Griezmann's double against Ireland

Quarter-final prediction: If Iceland's magnificent victory against England was a result for the ages, there would be an eruption of Eyjafjallajokull proportions were they to repeat that against the hosts. I predict a 2-0 France win.

What are they singing? Allez les Bleus! (Come on you Blues!)

Celebrity fans: Matt Pokora (singer), François Hollande (President), Clovis Cornillac (Astérix actor)

Tell us something we didn't know: Griezmann's goal celebration against Ireland was lifted from the Drake video for Hotline Bling; Kingsley Coman is afraid of spiders; and Laurent Koscielny uses the familiar 'tu' form when addressing French President Hollande.