France v Spain | Betting Preview

Date: September 4, 2014
Venue: Stade de France, Paris, France
Kick-off time: 20:00 hours BST

France will welcome Spain at their national ground for a friendly fixture ahead of the 2016 Euro qualifiers. France will be facing a new Spanish side after the 2014 World Cup debacle, first time in six years without Xabi Alonso and Xavi Hernandez.

France’s form: W-W-D-W-L

The French were playing really well in the group stages of the World Cup and till the quarter-final clash with Germany they were in prime form. It was a case of peaking too early in the tournament which saw them lose against a clinical German side.

Coach Didier Deschamps has suggested that the same starting XI which played against Germany in the World Cup will be fielded. Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny, though, will miss the match owing to a head injury, Jeremy Mathieu will take his place in the squad.

Spain’s form: W-W-L-L-W

Spain’s World Cup campaign was one to forget and their performance reached the lowest ebb during the group stages. The curse of ‘Reigning Champions’ still continues it seems.

The new squad is not a major shakeup, but with the key members announcing retirement the baton has passed to the new exciting generation of Spanish stars.

Key Players

France: Mathieu Valbuena

The only attack minded no.10 player in the France ranks who plays on the right flank but creates more than the midfield behind him.

Players like Valbuena are rare and his twinkle toes can create magic for a France team surprisingly devoid of creative midfielders.

Spain: Sergio Ramos

As a mainstay in the Spain squad since a very young age, Ramos has successfully moved to center of the defence after playing much of his playing career as a marauding right-back.

At club level, his form has been excellent but the partnership with Gerard Pique at the international level has been more of a miss. Spain needs leaders now and will look to Ramos for inspiration.

Betting Advice

With the 2016 Euro qualifiers approaching, both the teams will look to play this friendly in a competitive manner. France’s squad looks more settled at this stage which should give them an edge against a side which struggled in the World Cup as well. Bet365’s offer of 2.38 is an excellent one for a French victory.