Tuesday, 13 June 2017

France vs England - International Friendly - 13th June


France and England will play a friendly encounter in Paris on June 13th. Both teams had less than stellar performances in their recent 2018 World Cup qualifier matches,  so this friendly match in the Stade de France will be a good chance of redemption for them both. Also, bearing in mind that the decisive games for the World Cup Qualifiers are a few months away, a test against a strong opponent could be useful for both teams.

The late Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain goal that resulted in a 2-2 draw against Scotland can’t cancel out the poor game played by the England team. Although the two goals from the Scots came from the excellent left foot of Leigh Griffiths in two consecutive free kicks, it’s also true that the team managed by Gareth Southgate had a really bad performance, especially up front. Joe Hart was under the spotlight too after the last match, as he is being blamed for the free-kick goals, and now he will be replaced. Tom Heaton and Jack Butland will step up instead. Oxlade-Chamberlain earned the chance to start in the line-up, with Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane possibly joining him in the offensive line.

France thre away an incredible opportunity to stand out from the rest in their qualifier group. A mistake from the goalkeeper Hugo Lloris cost them the game against Sweden, who are now sharing the top of the group with the French side with 13 points each team. With Netherlands on 10 points and improving their performances, the next encounter between them will be a fierce one, and this match could be the preparation needed for that encounter. That’s why Didier Deschamps will put out a strong line-up, with most of the best players starting, such as Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Dimitri Payet. Some of the young promises of the team may make an appearance, such as the wonder-kid Kylian Mbappé and the Borussia Dortmund player Ousmane Dembélé. Deschamps has a lot of options in the offensive line, which makes the French team a concern for any defense.

At 4/5 with most bookmakers, the odds are in favor of a win for France. The offensive power that the home team can display is fierce, and the poor recent display by England helps this decision. Still, at 7/2 (average) an away win has some solid value. If we analyze both teams, it’s not an unlikely scenario: England have the players to beat almost any team, it's just that often it doesn't quite come tiegther for them. Finally, at 11/10, the odds for a match with three goals or more seem decent. The friendly nature of the encounter may free some creative players, and both teams might have a more offensive display than in a nervy competitive match. I envisage a tough encounter, but with a good number of chances for both teams.

With all of this in mind, I'd advise a 2.5+ Goals bet and if you're one for the patriotic pound, then a punt on England to win!

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