England vs France betting
Laurent Blanc has overseen a transformation in the fortunes of the French team. Since the miserable performances under Raymond Domenech at the last World Cup, former Manchester United defender Blanc has engineered a revolution. With a fine team from goalkeeper to the attack France are seen by many as one of the dark horses for lifting the trophy if they can reproduce their pre-tournament form on the big stage. Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema leads the French attack, he has been in superb form the Spanish Champions this season knocking in 21 goals in 34 games. He is supported up by creative midfielders such as Samir Nasri, Frank Ribery and Mathieu Valbuena. At the back, Lyon’s goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is regarded as one of the finest in world football and he is protected by a defence containing the likes of English-based players such as Gael Clichy, Patrice Evra and Laurent Koscielny. France are unbeaten in their last 21 matches, a run that includes victories over Brazil, Germany and Monday’s opponent’s England. With such a fine all round team that have been brought together by one of the game’s fine upcoming managers, France are a team to be watch out for and will be very tough opposition for England.
England, lead by Roy Hodgson, head into this tournament with lower expectations than ever before. Whether this could possibly work in the team’s favour remains to be seen but with Hodgson’s side depleted by suspension and injuries there is a slight sense of pessimism around the country, partly reflected in the small number of England fans that have travelled to the tournament compared to normal. Then led by Fabio Capello, England qualified comfortably and as usual their form in between tournaments has been good. It is hoped by fans that this time it can be carried into the Championships. Star striker Wayne Rooney will be missing for this game and it is widely expected that his club team mate Danny Welbeck will replace him, after impressing against Belgium and in training. It is also predicted that Hodgson will start with playing more defensive minded wide midfielders such as James Milner rather than flying wingers, suggesting a similar approach to how he used to set his teams up at Fulham and West Brom. It will be up to the likes of Ashley Young to lead counter attacks against a French defence that is regarded as the weakest part of their team.
Match Prediction: France 2.50 at William Hill
France are the clear favourites heading into this one but European Championships can be very unpredictable as we all know, a point emphasised by Greece winning in 2004. France defeated England in the opening game of the last European Championships England were involved in, 8 years ago. Les Bleus have also won their last three games against England and are undefeated in their last five against them. It will be a tall order for England to come away with three points and despite it being a tough one to call, it’s hard to overlook the French’s quality and form.
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