Monday, October 23, 2017

Prediction: Netherlands vs France

SoccerPredictions in General Soccer News 8 Oct 2016

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Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Bet365

Two of Europe’s football heavyweights will meet on Monday after recording identical-margin wins in the previous round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying round. Buoyed by the 4-1 triumph, both Netherlands and France will be keen to grab what will cement their place at the top of Group A.

Netherlands

Last couple of years have been quite difficult for the Dutch football team which missed their chance to qualify for the European Championship finals in France this summer. Bronze medallists from Brazil 2014 are keen to get back on track and restore their place among world’s best as they head full force into the new qualifying cycle for Russia 2018. Having been pitted alongside France and the likes of Sweden, Bulgaria, Belarus and Luxemburg, Danny Blind’s men will have to work hard in order to seal their place in the showpiece tournament. Netherlands stumbled at the beginning of the road having failed to record a win at Sweden earlier last month. Blind’s men were trailing up until little over the hour-mark when Sneijder neutralised Berg’s lead and saved his team from opening embarrassment. Netherlands bounced back from the 1-1 stalemate in Solna with a compelling 4-1 triumph over Belarus, which have been a huge boost for the team ahead of the high-profile match.

Team News

Quincy Promes has been the biggest surprise in the Belarus game and Spartak Moscow winger is surely in for another starting berth against France.

Key man Wesley Sneijder is struggling with a thigh problem and is likely to miss the France match, which would be a major blow to Danny Blind’s side.

France

Much to the similarity of their upcoming rivals, France have also opened their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with a draw. A goalless stalemate at Belarus was regarded as an underwhelming result for in-form Euro 2016 hosts and finalists and Didier Deschamps’ men were pressed into making a swift return to winning ways. French showed plenty of character as they came from behind to beat Bulgaria in Paris on Friday, as Les Bleus found great reply to Mihail Alexandrov’s early penalty. The compelling 4-1 triumph over Bulgaria brought a bit of peace for disconcerted supporters, who will demand plenty of improvement in their team’s visit to Amsterdam ArenA. French side travel to the Netherlands in good spirits, eager to claim three points that would put them in the driving seat at top of Group A, but their task will not be easy given the erratic form they’ve displayed of late. Free-scoring rout against Bulgaria should prove to be a major boost however, particularly for Kevin Gameiro, who will use his brace to find plenty of more motivation deputising for Karim Benzema.

Team News

Gameiro should continue as lone striker upfront as Didier Deschamps is expected to stick with pretty much the same line-up he fielded against Bulgaria.

Right-back Bacary Sagna will be assessed on match day after leaving the game in the first half with a hamstring injury.

Key Aspects to Consider

  • Netherlands lost 5 of their last 6 home games
  • France have been last beaten on the road in November 2015
  • Dutch lost their last meeting with France, coincidently at home
  • Netherlands kept only one clean sheet in last 13 matches
  • Antoine Griezmann scored 7 goals in 9 matches for France

Conclusion

Meetings between two European football forces rarely miss excitement and we are surely in for another high-tempo game between two technically skilled teams. Netherlands will hold a slight edge through the home turf advantage, but France are in fine scoring form and should prove to be a tough nut to crack.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Bet365

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