England coach Roy Hodgson is under no illusions about the challenge that awaits him in England's opening game against France, he said Sunday.
France and England will face off on Monday in Donetsk, Ukraine, in will be Hodgson's first competitive match as an England manager.
"It's a stern challenge, there's no question about that," Hodgson said.
"We are facing a team in excellent form. 21 matches unbeaten at any level, let alone international level, is a fine achievement."
England have been dogged by injury in the run-up to their Euro 2012 opener, but Hodgson said the England team is in high spirits.
"The players are more than confident in their all abilities."
France and England played in the same group at Euro 2004, finishing first and second respectively after a brace of goals from Zinedine Zidance gave France a 2-1 win in their match.
Hodgson has won praise for his ability to turn around the fortunes of smaller teams, taking Switzerland to their first World Cup finals in 28 years in 1994.
Hodgson's former clubs also include Inter Milan, Blackburn Rovers, Grasshoppers, FC Copenhagen, and Liverpool. He has also managed in Norway and Sweden.
In Monday's other game, co-hosts Ukraine will play Sweden.