Can France Bounce Back from Their Euro 2016 Disappointment?
In July 2016, France failed to find a way past a determined and dogged Portuguese rearguard and missed out on the opportunity to land some silverware. Didier Deschamps’ side are aiming to bounce back from that disappointment in Russia but they will need to significantly improve their conversion rate.
They needed a late Kylian Mbappe goal to rescue a draw against an experimental and youthful USA outfit on May 9th and although it is generally advised not to read too much into friendly results, their wastefulness in front of goal was deeply concerning. They had 19 shots throughout the 90 minutes, eight of which were on target, yet they only managed to convert once. They also had 18 efforts on goal during the aforementioned defeat to Portugal yet somehow couldn’t find a way through.
France have been drawn in Group C alongside Peru, Denmark and Australia and are expected to progress with relative ease. They will need to become far more clinical if they are to reach the latter stages of the tournament. They have a vastly talented squad with Antoine Griezmann expected to compete for top goalscorer. He netted four times during qualifying, although three of those strikes came against Bulgaria, Luxembourg and Belarus. He did net six times at Euro 2016 and is available at 10/1 with Paddy Power to finish as the tournament’s top goalscorer.
Griezmann will need plenty of support and Kylian Mbappe could be the man to help fire his side to the final in Russia. Deschamps has opted to use the youngster sporadically throughout his international career but he may be deployed from the start here. Whilst his teammates were struggling to convert, Mbappe kept a cool head and found the back of the net against the USA and can be backed at 11/2 with Betway to finish as his country’s top goalscorer.
Mexico Could Struggle to Qualify for the Round of 16
Mexico have been eliminated in the round of 16 in each of their last six World Cup appearances and they’ll be hoping to progress to the knock-out stage once again. Unfortunately, they arrive at the tournament in poor form and confidence is at an all-time low amongst supporters.
They were outplayed by Denmark during their final warm-up game on May 9th with Age Hareide’s side netting two second-half goals. Defensive lapses were once again to blame and only Jesus Corona emerged from the match with any credit.
They begin their 2018 World Cup campaign against Germany and are not expected to pick up anything from the game. They are priced at 5/6 with Bet365 to be eliminated during the group stage and judging by their recent performances, that looks a decent bet in Group F.