France – World Cup 2010 – Betting

 

Manager: Raymond Domenech
Captain: Thierry Henry
FIFA World Ranking: 10
World Cup Appearances: 12
Best World Cup: Winners – 1998

France Article

France Team Profile

The 1998 World Cup winners will have high hopes of winning another World Cup in South African but, however, could count themselves lucky to even be in the tournament after they qualified not only via a play-off but also under controversial circumstances. The French beat the Republic of Ireland 2-1, although their eventual winners didn’t come until late into extra-time and it was adied via the hand of Thierry Henry before William Galls nodded home to send France to South Africa, at the expense of a glum ROI.

Henry’s part in France qualifying sparked uproar amongst not only with the Irish FA but also with neutrals from all around the globe, and France might not be welcomed as warmly as some of the other European nations in South Africa. To add to the hostility, even the French supporters aren’t best pleased with their squad of underachievers as their displays in qualifying where bewilderingly bad at times, and the fact that it took a dubious goal to seal their qualification doesn’t sit well with the French fans, as they’ve had it in for Raymond Domenech for a while now, pretty much ever since their poor showing at Euro 2008 at which France didn’t even make it pass the group stage of the competition.

The French, though, remain a big contender for the crown regardless of their lacklustre qualifying campaign. Their squad is jam-packed with world class quality, whilst they generally tend to do well on the big stage, with the exception of their poor showing in their last major event – the European Champions in 2008. They will have a big point to prove, though, not only after their disappointing 2008 but to also make amends for their sluggish campaign throughout qualifying, as many French fans have lost faith in Domenech’s regime.

Nickname: Les Bleus (The Blues)

France Key Players

We’ll start with their influential captain, although in fairness Thierry Henry has done little to raise the morale in the France camp of late despite lending a helping hand… literally!

The French captain is the all-time leading scorer for his country with 51 goals in 118 appearances which, considering he looks as though he might carry on playing for France for a couple more years, could see him notch up a few more international caps before he hangs his boots up. There is no doubting the Va-va-voom star used to have unenviable talent when he was at Arsenal, enjoying arguably the best spell of his career in England, but since joining Barcelona, Henry hasn’t been the same and certainly hasn’t been as instrumental for France as fans would have hoped. Even so, Henry still has more going for himself than many others and remains a key player in the final third.

Now the final third, the attacking third, is where France look their strongest on paper yet so often you hear about France struggling to convert their array of striking options into regular goals, even against the smaller fish. Up front Domenech could take any number of forwards to South Africa with him; Djibril Cisse – enjoying one of his best spells in his career in Greece currently and his pace could be useful even if his finishing has never been clinical. Nicolas Anelka is unquestionably the best forward France have right now but even Les Sulk is going through a patchy spell at the moment, with goals drying up at the latter end of the season with Chelsea, so their pivotal forward doesn’t exactly come to South Africa with bags of momentum and confidence, and Anelka has always been a confidence sort of guy. The new guy on the scene comes in the form of a bulky forward, not in the mould of any previous France forwad stars in Andre-Pierre Gignac, who finished last season as Ligue 1’s top goalscorer and has already scored some crucial goals for France in qualifying.

The midfield is where the magic will hopefully take place; Franck Ribery, Yoann Gourcuff, Hatem Ben Afra and an in form Florent Malouda. Every single one of those named can make a real difference for France. Gourcuff is a fantastic crosser of the ball while he also boasts fantastic awareness and vision in a player-maker role, Malouda is a menace down the left flank and will be a thorn in most right-backs side, while former Marseille man, Franck Ribery, could really make the difference in South Africa providing he puts his off-pitch dramas to one side and concentrates more on his football. We must not forget Lassana Diarra and Jeremy Toulanan, who both play a pivotal role in that famous France defensive-midfielder slot.

In goal we have a talented Hugo Lloris, who has been excelling in France with Lyon and really does look a talented prospect for the future. His defence, however, does leave a lot to be believed with Patrice Evra the only reliable defender in front of Lloris. The positives about France’s defence is Evra and Cissokho are great at getting forward and providing a threat down the wings. However, this does leave them vulnerable on the counter while they’ve yet to really find a centre-back partnership which really works. The defence is a troublesome area for the French and could very well be their achilles heel in South Africa.

Strengths

The amount of quality Raymond Domench has at his disposal is bewildering yet to achieve so little with them in recent competitions is baffling. We could go on and on quoting world-class players that play for France; Theirry Henry (Captain) the all-time leading French goalscorer, Franck Ribery, Nicolas Anelka, all are established footballers in the modern game but when they take to the field for France, they just don’t seem to click. Hopefully that will change in South Africa, only time will tell.

Weaknesses

The problem we can see arising is when France need a goal, at that will arise at some point believe you me, we wouldn’t have any confidence in France lifting their game and asserting a bit of pressure on their opponents. They’ll be times when they need to raise their game and race through the gears, and while they do have the inventory to do such a feat, they never do. Moreover, the French are accustomed to disappointing us and their French followers these days, so another lacklustre campaign in South Africa wouldn’t be at all surprising.

France Qualification for the World Cup

Sector: Europe

Group: 7

Position: 2nd (Qualified via a 2-1 victory over Republic of Ireland in a play-off)

Win-Draw-Lose: 6-3-1

Goals Scored: 18

Goals Conceded: 9

France Qualifying statistics:

  • France had to rely on a wide-spread of goalscorers to get them through an awkward group 7 , with Gignac & Henry sharing the top goalscorer honour with just four goals each.
  • Austria were the only nation to beat France during qualifying, with Domenech’s under fire France losing their opening qualifier 3-1 in Vienna.
  • France ended the group unbeaten in nine before losing 1-0 at home to Republic of Ireland in the qualifiers, a defeat which ended an unbeaten run of 10 for France.
  • Over half of France’s victories in qualifying came via a NIL scoreline, so a tidy defence has been the basis for their successful qualification bid.
  • Only Thierry Henry and Bakari Sagna played every qualifier, including the two-legged play-off with ROI. 

World Cup Potential: 3/5

France aren’t high up on our list of possible outright winners but they will be a contender nevertheless. They have a host of big names which can turn any match on it’s head and decide the huge encounters with one gifted strike of the ball. They are a team that will need to hit the ground running, though, and a sluggish start could spell the end before the tournament has even got into it’s stride, although, the last time France won their opening game was back in 1998. The same year France went on to record their first ever World Cup outright win. An outside chance certainly, but others with stronger claims are preferred.

 

France World Cup Betting Odds

France to win the World Cup: 100/1SportingBet

Before the World Cup the odds on France were 18/1 

Official France World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers

Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyon)

Steve Mandanda (Olympique Marseille)

Cédric Carrasso (Girondins Bordeaux)

 

Defenders

Anthony Réveillère (Olympique Lyon)

Bacary Sagna (Arsenal)

William Gallas (Arsenal)

Gaël Clichy (Arsenal)

Éric Abidal (Barcelona)

Sébastien Squillaci (Seville)

Patrice Evra (Manchester United)

Marc Planus (Girondins Bordeaux)

 

Midfielders

Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich)

Jéremy Toulalan (Olympique Lyon)

Alou Diarra (Girondins Bordeaux)

Florent Malouda (Chelsea)

Yoann Gourcuff (Girondins Bordeaux)

Abou Diaby (Arsenal)

Sidney Govou (Olympique Lyon)

Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique Marseille)

 

Strikers

Thierry Henry (Barcelona)

Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea)

Djibril Cissé (Panathinaikos Athen)

André-Pierre Gignac (Toulouse)

 

last update: 18 June 2010

 

World Cup 2010 France Fixtures – Group A

Date - Time Group Match Result
11/06 - 15.00 A South Africa - Mexico 1-1
11/06 - 19.30 A Uruguay - France 0-0
16/06 - 19.30 A South Africa - Uruguay 0-3
17/06 - 19.30 A France - Mexico 0-2
22/06 - 15.00 A Mexico - Uruguay 0-1
22/06 - 15.00 A France - South Africa 1-2

World Cup 2010 Group A - Table

Rank Team Matches / Points
1 Uruguay 3 Matches / 7 Points
2 Mexico 3 Matches / 4 Points
3 South Africa 3 Matches / 4 Points
4 France 3 Matches / 1 Point

World Cup Fixtures and Results

 



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