AFTER getting by a plucky Australia in their opening game, France can secure qualification to the knockout stage with a win over Peru. Ross Casey (@RossCasey24) offers his World Cup betting advice for Les Bleus' fixture against the South Americans from Thursday in Yekaterinburg.
France v Peru | Thursday 21st June 2018, 16:00 | ITV
France have been made clear favourites to win this one with best odds of just 6/10, which shows that this is expected to be a tougher test than their tie Australia, where they were 2/7.
Les Blues have now lost just one of their last seven, although it must be said that their last two performances have seen Dider Deschamps' men labour to a draw with USA and scape past Australia, doing little to impress.
With Peru showing plenty of signs of life against Denmark in their 1-0 loss, and knowing they cannot afford to lose this one, will favourite backers be put off at odds of 6/10?
This Peru side were unbeaten in 15 going into their World Cup opening fixture against Denmark, and and if it wasn't for a missed penalty, they would have extended that sequence to 16.
Despite the loss, there was plenty to appreciate from their play however, with pace and power in spades. They had more possession in that game and totalled seven more shots than the Danes.
I expect them to start their controversial talisman Paolo Guerrero in this one as they cannot afford to lose this game and he offers plenty of attacking threat as well as the ability to bring others into the game with his hold up play.
Peru too, offer excellent defensive stability. In their last 16 matches, they have conceded just eight times, keeping seven clean sheets in their last 10 outings. However, the fact remains that Peru are now winless in their last seven World Cup games (W0-D2-L5).
Deschamps has such a ridiculous talent pool that the likes of Dimitri Payet and Anthony Martial were left at home for this World Cup. This strength in depth can count against them at times though, as it can be hard to pick a settled side and really push on when you have such competition for every place on the pitch.
This has seen the likes of Blaise Matuidi only playing for a spare few minutes against Australia. I think in part that is what sees them pick up some weird results from time to time such as their draws against Luxembourg and Belarus and their defeat to Albania.
I don't think that Peru will be underestimated here because of that but again Deschamps has some big calls to make in his starting line-up. The likes of Djibril Sidibe and Benjamin Mendy may well come in to add some much needed pace and dynamism in both defence an attack – which will be music to the ears of Mark Lawrenson – who did not rate who played there against Australia.
Les Bleus have conceded in seven of their last 10 matches and with Hugo Lloris suffering a crisis of confidence this season in goal for Tottenham, he is under scrutiny too.
They should still have enough about them to beat this Peru side over 90 minutes, however, especially as they have lost just one of their last 13 matches.
The betting angle
I think that I am going to stick with my favourite selection when betting on France here. They are again too short to offer as a selection in the full-time result market, so get them in the Win and Both Teams To Score market with a best price of 14/5 with 888.
This bet has landed in seven of their last 12 victories – including their win over Australia – and with Peru needing to score to have any real chance of qualification, I fancy them to breach the France defence – but ultimately come up short.
France v Peru – France to win and Both Teams To Score (14/5 888)