England get their campaign up and running today as they lock horns with France in Donetsk but they’ve already received the thumbs down from the betting public with their odds for victory in this game much bigger than when the draw was made in December last year.
France on the other hand have been well backed in every market they feature in and as their number of matches unbeaten grows (20) their Euro 2012 odds decrease (now as short as 7/1 to win).
But is the confidence behind France well placed? Well, to an extent yes. When you go unbeaten in 20 games you ought to receive some respect but this team has is its fragilities. They were very close to losing their qualifying group to Bosnia, their centre back pairing of Philippe Mexes and Adil Rami do give cause for concern and it looks certain they’ll be without key player Yann M’Vila for this encounter.
The key to this game though looks to be with England. They have looked rigid and fairly solid since Roy Hodgson took over and it’s unlikely they’ll depart from this tournament with a 4-1 thumping like they did two years ago in South Africa under Fabio Capello. 1-0 wins over Norway and Belgium saw Hodgson’s system work reasonably firmly and they’re taken to avoid defeat today in Donetsk.
We expect goals to be in short supply and this has a 0-0 or 1-1 written all over it for us. Take the 11/5 Draw with Stan James in England’s opening fixture.
- France are unbeaten in 20 matches
- England have yet to concede under Roy Hodgson’s guidance
- France conceded just four goals during qualifying