France Preview & Betting Tips: Sakho Injured But Giroud To Get On The Scoresheet
Preview and betting tips as Francelook to book their place in the last eight of the World Cup when they take on Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional this evening.
France will be looking to book their place in the last eight of the World Cup when they take on Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia this evening.
The French are understandably the red-hot favourites to progress after impressing in the group stages as they topped Group E with two comprehensive wins over Honduras and Switzerland followed by a draw with Ecuador.
Key to Didier Dechamps side’s success so far has been the form of strikers Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud, with the pair netting five times between them so far.
Arsenal’s frontman looks fresh and confident, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get on the score-sheet again this evening – which is why we’re backing him at odds of 2.20.
Nigeria did well to qualify second in Group F behind Argentina and it took a stunning double from Lionel Messi to beat them 3-2 last week, but I don’t see them being a match for the French tonight. They just don’t have the depth all over the pitch to compete for 90 minutes against a well-balanced French outfit.
Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho misses out with a thigh injury so Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny starts alongside Raphael Varane at the back. Sakho will be a big miss as he was excellent in the opening two two games, but Koscielny is a superb replacement and was a rock for the Gunners last season.
As expected, Yohan Cabaye returns from suspension to start in midfield alongside PSG team mate Blaise Matuidi and Juventus youngster Paul Pogba. This is where the battle will be won for the French as I think they are far superior in the middle of the park compared to their Nigerian counterparts.
Deschamps has recalled Giroud to the starting eleven after resting him last time out and Benzema will play off the left with Valbuena on the right, and these three will cause the oppositions defence all sorts of problems.
Chelsea attacker Victor Moses has passed a late fitness test to start for Nigeria after missing the Argentina defeat with a muscle injury.
Here are the confirmed line-ups:
France: Lloris, Debuchy, Varane, Koscielny, Evra, Cabaye, Matuidi, Pogba, Valbuena, Giroud, Benzema
Nigeria: Enyeama; Ambrose, Yobo, Oshaniwa, Omeruo; Onazi, Mikel; Musa, Odemwingie, Moses; Emenike
We’ve had a reasonable last few days and currently sit mid-table in the bwin Bloggers Betting League, but we hope to push for the top with some winning picks today.
Giroud to score at any time (odds 2.20)
As previously mentioned, Giroud is looking fresh and confident and I can see the Arsenal man getting among the goals today. You can get him to score at any time at 2.20 or opt for the first goalscorer at 5.50.
France to win and over 2.5 goals (odds 2.10)
A straight bet on France to win doesn’t offer a good return so for better value we’ve combined it with over 2.5 combined goals to be scored in the game, which is a far more tempting 2.10.
Giroud first goalscorer in 2-1 win (odds 26.00)
If you really want to go for a big win, our long-shot bet is Giroud to be first goal-scorer in a 2-1 win for France which is on offer at odds of 26.00.
bwin World Cup Blogger’s League
We are taking part in the bwin World Cup Blogger’s League, a betting competition between top football sites, to follow our progress head to www.bwinbetting.com.
All of the odds included are sourced from bwin.com and you can find more on bwin’s World Cup offering, including Double/Treble returns, here.
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