Paul McGinley has expressed his confidence in the European team ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup, which will take place in Le Golf National in France.

Team USA captured the biennial contest for the first time since 2008 last year, following a comprehensive 17-11 win in Hazeltine. 

Thomas Bjorn takes over from Darren Clarke in captaining the side, having been a vice-captain for four previous matches. He will also have four wild card picks based on the new changes to the qualification process. 

Former Ryder Cup captain McGinley, who was part of the committee who selected Bjorn, says that having the tournament on European soil could prove vital for the home team hoping to wrestle back the title.

"The European team is going to be very strong. Yeah, there’s going to be rookies in it but there’s no problem having rookies in it," he told RTÉ Sport. "Certainly, I think the best teams of all have had rookies in them.

"Yes, America are going to be strong but there’s a very interesting statistic. The top 21 people in the world rankings, 11 are European and only seven are Americans.

"We are very strong at the top end of the world rankings, we are playing at home and what’s become very evident in the last number of team events, is the advantage you have when you play at home. Home teams seem to be winning a lot more regularly now.

"The correlation between playing at home and winning is becoming more and more closer to 80%. We are playing on a golf course where we played the French Open for the last 25 years so we know that place very, very well. All the players are very familiar with the golf course and we’ll have home support.

"I think we’re going to be in a very strong place. And no disrespect to America, they will be very strong, there’s no doubt about that but so are Europe."

McGinley paid tribute to the achievements of Team USA in previous events, but said they were buoyed by quick starts in those competitions. 

"Since Gleneagles, they’ve had a great run. They’ve played three team events and won all three.

"They had the task force and they’ve put this new thing in place and off they go rolling. To be honest, they’ve had three easy runs at it with all due respect. They won 4-0 in the first session of the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine last year so they got off to a flyer of a start.

"They won 5-1 in the first morning of the President’s Cup this year in New York. And they did the same in Korea two years ago, so they’ve had a good run and got out of the blocks quick."