LISTEN TO FRANCE WORLD CUP TIPS:
Didier Deschamps has chosen to leave out some very good players from his World Cup squad. Adrien Rabiot, Anthony Martial, Alexandre Lacazette, Karim Benzema and Wissam Ben Yedder are among those who have been omitted.
It illustrates the strength in depth Les Bleus possess, and it’s why they are fourth favourites to lift the trophy with most bookmakers. Sportnation have them priced at 23/4, and France are a similar price across the board.
One therefore has to wonder why they struggled a little in qualifying. They won their group, but drew at home with Luxembourg and away in Belarus, while only beating the latter and Bulgaria by the odd goal in other fixtures too.
Even so, the bookmakers fully expect them to win all three group matches in Russia. France are priced at just 3/10 with top football betting sites to top Group C, and it’s hard to back against that when their opposition, in the form of Denmark, Peru and Australia, shouldn’t provide too many concerns.
However, there are better odds available elsewhere for betting on essentially the same thing. You can get odds of 8/15 with bet365 that France get over six points, and as it’s hard to see anyone beating them, that looks a good bet.
Bear in mind the same firm has Australia available at 14/1 to defeat them in the first group match and Peru at 8/1 to take three points in the second, which illustrates how unlikely it is France lose either game.
The only fly in the ointment for a bet on over six points is if results in the first two pairs of matches mean France can make wholesale changes for the Denmark game, but as it stands now their odds are just 4/6 to win that match.
Like France, Denmark are priced as favourites to beat Peru and Australia, so the final match could be a group decider. Both teams will want to avoid (most likely) Argentina in the last sixteen. The 13/8 from bet365 that France take a full nine points is not a bet you should rule out. It’s safe to assume France will get out of the group, as they’re around 1/25 to do so, but how far can they go? It seems slightly surprising the most likely stage of elimination in the bookmakers’ minds is the last sixteen.
That’s priced at 5/2 with Mintbet, yet with Argentina short priced favourites to top Group D, are any of Croatia, Iceland or Nigeria likely to knock France out? I’m not convinced, and I think it’s the quarter-finals where things could begin to get awkward for Les Blues. Obviously the deeper into the competition you try to forecast, the more ifs and buts come into play, but it would be logical to expect France to face one of Portugal or Spain in the last eight, and most likely the former.
France have won three of their four meetings at tournaments with Portugal, and they will be gunning for revenge for the most recent one. The Portuguese beat Deschamps’ team on their patch in the final of Euro 2016, so the French would love nothing more than striking back here. With the quality they have, I would expect them to.
As France are fourth favourites to win the tournament, a semi-final exit seems logical, and there’s every chance they could face Brazil at that stage. You can get 4/1 with Netbet that France are eliminated in the last four, and that looks a tempting bet based on how the draw looks likely to pan out.
In terms of player betting, Antoine Griezmann is the second or third favourite to win the Golden Boot. A lot appears to depend on the fitness (or not) of Neymar, as he is ahead of the French forward with some firms, but not all.
Griezmann is priced at 13/1 with 888sport to be the top scorer, but I’m not sure it’s such a good bet. While his record of 19 goals in 52 international appearances is decent, he did only score four goals in 10 qualification games. Many of the teams France look likely to face will be looking to keep games very tight, so while he might be his team’s top scorer, I don’t know if he can score Golden Boot numbers.
However, assuming France make the last four they will play six matches, so their players shouldn’t be ruled out from the top scorer betting. An each way bet on Kylian Mbappé at 35/1 with 888sport wouldn’t be a bad shout for World Cup betting enthusiasts.