Euro 2016 hosts France welcome the visit of Scotland on Saturday as they play their final game in preparation for this summer’s European Championships. After being drawn in a group that contains Romania, Switzerland and Albania, this weekend will be the last chance for Didier Deschamp’s men to impress before the competition’s opener gets under way on Friday the 10th of June.
Whilst Gordon Strachan’s Scotland narrowly missed out on a place in Euro 2016 after failing to qualify from a group with rivals Ireland, Saturday’s tough match-up is still a fantastic opportunity for the The Tartan Terriers to restore some pride and set out their stall with qualification for the 2018 World Cup getting under way later this year.
Today we preview this international friendly from the perspective of both sides and discuss where the betting value lies.
Back to the drawing board for Scotland
Scotland’s narrow 1-0 defeat to Italy last week wasn’t particularly telling of how most of the aforementioned game panned out. Just one shot was all the Scots could muster during 90 minutes at the Ta’Qali Stadium, Malta and whilst defender Russell Martin has called for a ‘brave performance’ from his lads this weekend, based on current form, the FIFA world ranked 21st side would do well to go in level at half time on Saturday.
France in prime position
Despite suffering some rather newsworthy implosions in recent years (the 2010 World Cup debacle comes to mind), France have been a nation at the forefront of international football ever since their maiden World Cup win back in 1998. It was of course, France who were hosts during the time Zinedine Zidane and co ripped apart favourites Brazil at the x stadium in ’98 and with this summer’s 24 Euro 2016 teams all battling it out in French surroundings, it’s ever wonder they are favourites to win the entire competition at 11/4.
France: France’s 23 man squad was announced yesterday with Liverpool centre back Mamadou Sakho left out of Euro 2016 whilst Manchester United’s Morgan Schneiderlin enjoyed a late call-up.
Scotland: Christophe Berra and Barry Bannan have both withdrawn from the Scotland squad due to face France at the Stade Saint-Symphorien. With Berra reportedly attending a friend’s wedding, Bannan is thought to not be partaking in this weekend’s friendly after fatigue following his Sheffield Wednesday side’s play-off final last weekend.
Where does the betting value lie?
Les Bleus are currently on a four game winning streak going into this weekend’s tie and unfortunately for Scotland, we don’t expect their unbeaten run to be ending any time soon (not at least until next week anyway). At 2/7 to win in 90 minutes, the value in backing France is of course non-existent. With Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud likely to be given the nod as the man to lead their attack, we feel at even money it might be worth backing him to score any time during 90 minutes.
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