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France Euro Cup Betting Prediction – Goal-Shy France Could Struggle At Euro 2012

Posted by Todd Shale on 5/3/2012 2:47:15 PM

France’s online betting chances at the European Championship will be predicated on their ability to score goals as their defense is in solid shape, but the two-time champions are on the ascent under their new manager. However, it’ll be tough just to get out of their group this summer.

Manager: Laurent Blanc (since May 2010)
Best Euro Finish: Champions (1984, 2000)
Soccer Betting Odds: +180 to win Group D, +1300 to win Euro 2012

Offense

Les Bleus scored 15 goals en route to the top of Group D in qualifying, and Florent Malouda was the only player to score multiple goals in five matches in 2011 with two. The French need to find someone to replace Theirry Henry up front as the country’s all-time leading goal-scorer decided to retire from the national team, and that role should go to Karim Benzema, who hasn’t been getting a lot of time at Real Madrid, but he is their most skilled forward and he can score goals when he is given a run in the side.

He’ll get a lot of support from midfield from Malouda, Franck Ribery and Samir Nasri, and Ribery has played a big role in Bayern Munich’s run to the Champions League final in which they, ironically, knocked out Benzema’s Madrid team. All three can play attacking roles across midfield and they’ll need to shine because up front, there isn’t much for the French and they can’t count on their defense to get out of a tough group.

Defense

The French allowed just four goals in 10 qualifying matches and it should come as no surprise as manager Laurent Blanc was a defender for a number of big clubs, as well as the national team. Keeper Hugo Lloris is the captain of the side behind a back four which includes Eric Abidal, Adil Rami and Patrice Evra, who played a huge role in the fiasco at the World Cup that ended Raymond Domenech’s tenure as the French coach. He has earned a spot in the team under Blanc, but he’ll be on a short leash.

In front of the defense is 21-year-old Yann M’Villa, who also scored a goal for the French in 2011 and will act as the midfield shield for France. Some have compared the youngster to Claude Makalele and Patrick Vieira for his ability to read the game, get possession and then start an attack, but he has also been called a loose cannon at times and he’ll have to keep his wits about him off the pitch if the French are going to make good on their soccer betting chances. On the pitch, M’Villa is remarkably disciplined for his style of play and the position that he mans, but he can sometimes go to the press with strange statements and after what happened in South Africa, that won’t be tolerated by Blanc.

Intangibles

Blanc was capped 97 times for the French national team, scoring 16 goals as a defender and there are few players who know what it’s like to play for the country better than him, which is why he was a perfect choice to replace Domenech, who was at the center of a players’ boycott in 2010. He is well respected by everyone from former teammates to his current players because he was a former player and not only that, he was a successful former player with wins in the 1998 European Championship, as well as the 2000 World Cup as part of the “Golden Generation” of French players.

However, he’ll have to figure out a way to get more offense going because even though the defense is stiff, you have to be able to score to win major tournaments and that will be his main goal going into the tournament in the Ukraine and Poland.

How It Will Play Out

Look for France with soccer betting odds of +180 to win their group with England, the Ukraine and Sweden, while they’re also rated at +1300 to win the tournament for the third time, but that may be asking too much. They’ll need a few breaks to get past the likes of Spain, Germany and the Netherlands for starters, and it won’t even be a slam dunk that they’ll get out of their group, which is packed together tightly.

That being said, they have a chance and the French are going to be tough to score on, but their main focus will be on replacing Henry’s goal-scoring threat at the top of their formation and if they can’t find the back of the net, it’ll be an early exit for Les Bleus, who have looked solid under Blanc, but they may need one more tournament before they can move up the Euro Cup betting ladder in European soccer.


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