French underdogs set to strike at Euro 2012
|BettingExpert/Betfair Euro 2012 blog correspondent entry profile|
|Stuart Kenny is a nineteen year-old student at the University of Stirling, who has been published in both The Scotsman and The Daily Record.|
|Twitter : @StuartKenny|
|Website : Stuart Kenny profile at the University of Stirling Newspaper - The Brig|
When describing the French national football team the term ‘underdog’ would normally be irrelevant. The great footballing nation has a world cup title and two European Championships to its name, but Les Bleus will head to Ukraine this summer free from the weight of expectation after a notoriously poor World Cup performance.
The 2010 World Cup saw the French side crash and burn in more ways than one, but with Laurent Blanc now at the helm of the team and a big redraft of the squad list, the underdog tag on the French cockerel may turn out to be one perfectly designed to set up an unexpected push for the championship.
After a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Belarus on the opening day of Euro 2012 qualification, the French support must have feared for the worst for the remainder of their international fixture list. However, Laurent Blanc has since seen his side embark on a eighteen match unbeaten run, and his experimental side has all the talent and much less of the ego responsible for the national side’s infamous World Cup implosion.
This can be seen in the stats chalked up on this impressive run; since Domenech lost all control of side in South Africa France have beaten England, Brazil and Germany in friendly matches, and qualified for the European Championships conceding just four goals in their ten fixtures along the way.
This defensive rock will be at the core of any French Euro challenge come June and July. Philippe Mexes and Adil Rami have formed a formidable centre back pairing; with Valencia man Rami providing the perfect physical presence to partner Mexes in defence.
Although Eric Abidal will be likely miss out on the tournament due to the player’s tragic health problems, Manchester United veteran Patrice Evra will continue to serve his country and Lille man Mathieu Debuchy is quickly making a worldwide name for himself with exceptional international performances that have seen him attack from the right-back position.
With this fierce defensive line up at the ready, the theory is that with a strong attack that doesn’t struggle to stick the ball in the net, France will be a force to be reckoned with. There is no need to introduce the potential threats of international superstars Karim Benzema or Franck Ribery of course. These men are French talisman that will be looked upon to produce something special, but it is in other names that France can find there extra element.
Samir Nasri may seem like an obvious source of form, but the midfielder was not even picked to play in the South Africa World Cup. Since then, Nasri has shown some exceptional form for club and country however, and with his skill and aggression being up there with the best in the world the City player is a threat for opponent’s to keep a close eye on.
Ligue 1 top goal scorer Olivier Giroud has been capped three times by Laurent Blanc, scoring once in the 2-1 victory over Germany. The 6 ft 3” striker adds a target man element to the French attack, and if he can maintain the form that has seen him net twenty-three goals this season he could be a regular source of French joy. Loic Remy is another French threat, and the tall Marseille man has a brilliant combination of power and pace which can terrorise the best of defences.
Elsewhere, Newcastle man Yohan Cabaye is key in giving Blanc’s side a strong core. Cabaye has been essential in Newcastle’s push for a top four position this year, controlling central midfield with his tactical mind and brilliant distribution of the ball, and the Premier League man is more than capable of replicating this form on the international stage. One can only hope Cabaye’s exciting in-form teammate Hatem Ben Arfa will also be feature on the French squad list for the tournament.
Other exciting names that have added to the France cause since 2010 such as Yann M’Vila and Mathieu Valbuena will also help the team find the perfect blend of defence and attack, and if all goes to plan Laurent Blanc’s men will form a mean opponent. The opening fixture of the tournament against England on June 11th will more than put the French to the test, and if they can produce a result in this game they could absorb enough momentum to launch a top run of form.
There are chinks in the French armour though. The team only just claimed top place in their group after a late Samir Nasri equaliser claimed a point from the decisive match of the Euro qualifications against second placed Bosnia and Herzegovina. This hints at inconsistency, and it is this irritating noun that has often been the downfall of France in major competitions. Results against some of the world’s biggest footballing nations have more than proved France can strut their stuff in style however, and one must remember that the side remain undefeated since September of 2010. If the team can maintain their impressive defensive record whilst their new boys cause havoc up the other end of the park, they can show that this underdog has a big bark and put themselves firmly in contention for the Henri Delaunay Trophy this summer.
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My latest article looks at Ireland's challenging task in Euro 2012 and can be found here: http://www.brignewspaper.com/2012/05/football-stern-euro-challenge-awaits-trapattonis-ireland/ Have a read when you get a chance!
Loic Remy may now miss the tournament after an injury in the last game of the French season against Auxerre. I was very glad to see Hatem Ben Arfa included in the preliminary squad for France however, he has been so good at Newcastle and could be a major French threat. Especially with Ribery's poor form of late.
Hi HalfGerman, Please can I ask you to write your changes and comments on the actual tip itself. So please go here: http://www.bettingexpert.com/tip/150540-Valenciennes-Paris-Saint-Germain and place your comment. That way we can see which tip and history of all the changes. Thanks.
Administrator can you change the quota on this Tip i put 1.91 by mistake it's actually 1.85!!!It's Valenciennes - Paris Saint Germain thanks
Thanks guys. I think France have in fact already recovered form, they just need to prove to everyone that they can once again perform at the highest level. I think with the current team they will be able to do so. The likes of Spain (9/4) and Germany (3/1) were always going to be small odds to win, and I think anyone looking for an outside bet shouldn't look to far past France, possibly even each way. Portugal are also worth a look at 20/1, but I don't think they are consistent enough to go the distance.
Some great insight here Stuart. France are always an intriguing team. Currently trading at 12-1 to win the tournament, about equal odds with Italy. Will be interesting to see how both nations perform.
Really interesting and insightful post...I can't see France recovering their form so soon and as a "top team" they will possibly be underpriced by the layers.
At the minute France are a fallen giant, and until they can stand back up at their full height by performing to their full potential, they will always be underdogs in my eyes. They are dark horses coming into this tournament, and although their recent form may attract expectations to some extent, people will not fancy them against the Italys and Spains of the world, as you have stated.
Although I don't think that France is an 'underdog', as you state, if they do manage to pass to the next round they will most likely be facing either Italy or Spain. And that's where it gets very complicated for them.
Interesting analysis. After the extremely poor performances from France the last couple of years I might tend to think that it's too early for them to actually have a chance for the Euro 2012 trophy. But I have been wrong before. Probably most of them time...
Hi,It was Tomic B.-Lopez F. I poot 0-0 :( by mistake.Thank you joe in advance
Hi HalfGerman, You can put a comment on your tip and leave a description so that I can correct it for you. Thanks
I need help i poot wrong result of the game how do i correct that???