France v Scotland – Stade Saint-Symphorien at 20:00 live on Premier Sports
On Saturday France take on Scotland in a friendly game pre-Euro 2016 and it is important for the French to get a win under their belts, so they can go into their 1st match of the competition against Romania in high spirits.
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France are on a good run of form and have won 8 of their last 9 matches, only losing against England and that was in the wake of the recent Paris terror attacks.
There is no doubt that France have a vast array of attacking talent, with Anthony Martial, Antoine Griezmann and Oliver Giroud upfront and as a result, the French have scored 10 goals in their last 3 matches. Antoine Griezmann has now joined up with the French squad after missing the Cameroon friendly due to his involvement in the Champions league final and the Atletico striker provides their biggest attacking threat, having scored 22 league goals scored this season. In Griezmann’s absence, Oliver Giroud scored in their recent friendly victory over Cameroon (3-2), with Blaise Matuidi and Dimitri Payet netting the other goals.
It is defensively where France need to worry however, as they’ve also conceded 6 goals in their last 3 friendlies. The French defence has certainly been weakened as a result of injuries to Raphael Varane, Jeremy Mathieu and Aymeric Laporte and the latest French casualty is midfielder Lassana Diarra, who has been replaced by Morgan Schneiderlin.
As for Scotland, they failed to qualify for the competition and so they will merely be looking to restore some pride after their 1-0 defeat to Italy last weekend, which saw Graziano Pellè score the only goal of the game.
Scotland were unlucky not to qualify for this year’s tournament, after finishing 4th in their qualifying group and therefore just missing out on a qualification spot. Gordon Strachan’s side were very much in contention for qualification with wins over the Republic of Ireland, Gibraltar and even a draw against Poland, but unfortunately their 1-0 defeat against Georgia in September halted their progression in the competition.
Prior to their defeat against Italy last weekend, the Scotts had been in good form and won their friendly matches against Gibraltar (6-0), Czech Republic (1-0) and Denmark (1-0).
In terms of Scotland’s goal threat, wide-men Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth) and Ikechi Anya (Watford) have bagged a few goals of late, whilst Marseille’s Steven Fletcher scored a hat-trick in Scotland’s qualifier against Gibraltar back in October.
As for the result of Saturday’s game, although the French have better quality across all areas of the pitch, I am sure they won’t be taking any chances as their injury list is already rather extensive! Now that the Euros are just round the corner I predict a rather dull affair which is likely to end up being a draw and therefore I recommend backing Scotland +1.5 on the Asian Handicap betting market, who look value at 1.96.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Scotland +1.5 @ 1.96 with 188BET
Prices correct at time of writing.