France’s spectacular 4-3 win over Argentina has made them many people’s favourites to capture the World Cup crown for the second time. Didier Deschamps men were losing early in the second half; however, Les Blues were clinical when in possession, allowing teenage superstar Kylian Mbappe to grab a brace to ensure his side the victory.
They will however come up against the best defence in the competition in Uruguay, who have conceded just the once so far. The defensive pairing of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez, who have brought their Athletico Madrid partnership and understanding into the World Cup, has made the side unplayable at times. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo hardly got a kick in their last 16 meeting, although the pace and directness of the attacking talent throughout France’s squad will be an even sterner test for the duo.
Edinson Cavani’s brace against Portugal reminded everyone of just how special a player he is, and although his striker partner Luis Suarez often makes most of the headlines, the PSG frontman is more than capable of grabbing a game by the scruff of the neck. Cavani looks a real threat to the French backline and is 14/1 with Paddy Power to score two or more goals.
The French squad do however have world class talent in all areas and have arguably the most complete squad in the competition. The game will ultimately be won in the midfield battle, and although Paul Pogba has a good discipline record at club and country level, the desire to ensure that this key area is won by his side could cause Pogba to be overly aggressive. For Paul Pogba to receive the first yellow card is 10/1 with Unibet.
With Luis Suarez in the side, the South American’s will fancy their chances of beating anyone, and with them beating current Euro champions Portugal in the last round, the confidence within the squad will be at an all-time high. The Barcelona front man has relatively quiet so far, although his ball into his strike partner for the opener was a real touch of class.
Although France are seen as favourites to progress through to the knockout stages, the team has a real collective atmosphere, where each individual knows his role and the best way to help the team. With partnerships formed in key areas, this will be a stern test for Pogba and co, with any result looking possible.
The defensive partnership at centre back cannot be overlooked, with Godin and Gimenez not only regularly playing together at club level, but also been seen as two of the most complete defenders in the game, their game plan will surely be to allow the French to have the ball and attack them quickly on the break. For the game to be drawn at half time and Uruguay to win at full time is 8/1 with Betfair.
A barnstorming game against Argentina left few in doubt as to who is set to become the star of the French team for many years to come. With his dribbling, pace, and eye for goal, Kylian Mbappe has reminded everyone why there was such a huge scramble for his signature just over a year ago with his sensational performance in the last 16 round. The PSG striker will relish the opportunity to once again take the centre stage, and he will be vital to his side’s chances of making it to the last four.
With his performances overshadowing his more senior teammate Antoine Griezmann, the Atletico Madrid star will be more than anxious to ensure he gets one over his club teammates Godin and Gimenez and ensure that everyone doesn’t forget about him. Yet to get going so far, with just the two strikes from the penalty spot, the opportunity to remind the world of his talent will be too tempting for him and expect him to sparkle for his team.
It could be an incredibly close game, and with three of the eight games in the last 16 going to penalties, there is a distinct possibility of this game following suit. With France having arguably the better technicians, progressing through with a penalty shootout looks a tasty bet. For France to qualify by penalty shootout is 9/1 with Betfair!
HEAD TO HEAD
France 1-2 Uruguay (FIFA World Cup) 15th July 1966
France 2-0 Uruguay (Inter Continental Championship) 21ST August 1985
France 0-0 Uruguay (FIFA World Cup) 6th June 2002
France 0-0 Uruguay (International Friendly) 19th November 2008
Uruguay 0-0 France (FIFA World Cup) 11th June 2010
France 0-0 Uruguay (International Friendly) 15th August 2012
Uruguay 1-0 France (International Friendly) 5th June 2013
CURRENT MATCH ODDS (BEST PRICED ODDS)
Uruguay: 18/5 - Visit Unibet!
France: 21/1 - Visit Betfred!
Draw: 11/5 - Visit Betfair!
A real battle looks on the cards in the game between France and Uruguay, with both sides strong in attack and defence, it may come down to who can win the midfield battle, with France looking exceptionally strong in that department. N’Golo Kante was superb against Argentina, and he will need to be at the top of his game to help his side against a dangerous opponent, and although it is difficult to discount any side containing Suarez and Cavani, France’s ability to control the midfield should give them the edge.
MY RECOMMENDED BETS
- France to win 2-1: 9/1 - Visit Bet Victor!
- Kylian Mbappe to score the first goal is 5/1 - Visit Boylesports!
- N’Golo Kante to win man of the match is 20/1 - Visit Boylesports!
Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (21:30 4th July 2018) and are subject to change.
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