Verdict: France win to nil
Best Odds: 21/20
Smelling a real chance on foreign soil this week, defending world champions France will make the trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina for a Group D qualifying showdown on Wednesday night.
Starting with the hosts, while Bosnia-Herzegovina might have managed to snatch a late point away against Finland in their opening qualifying contest last week, The Dragons are in the midst of a real blip. Facing what appears to be a stern test in Group D, a group that they share with the likes of France, Ukraine and Finland, Ivaylo Petev’s side know that have a real uphill battle if they’re to shock many and secure a route to the 2022 World Cup Finals. Left heartbroken back in October after suffering a penalties defeat against Northern Ireland on home soil, The Blues missed out on a spot at this summer’s European Championships and they have come under real scrutiny over the past 18 months. Crashing out of League A in the Nations League last year after enduring a horror campaign, Bosnia failed to win any of their six contest and have remarkably failed to win a single fixture across any competition since November 2019. Having to settle for a sluggish 0-0 stalemate against Costa Rica in a friendly meeting last weekend, Wednesday’s hosts should be in for another long night’s work.
Giving back a positive COVID-19 test, Head Coach Ivaylo Petev will not be in Bosnia’s dugout this week.
While Ermedin Demirovic might have returned to Freiburg due to injury, midfielder Miralem Pjanić will earn his 100th international cap on Wednesday night.
As for the visitors, although France might have been disappointed to have also opened their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw against Ukraine last week, they’re tipped as a landslide pick to top Group D. With their sights set on defending their world crown in two years time, Didier Deschamps’ men opened their account in what was a routine fashion over the weekend. Eventually cruising their way to a 2-0 win away at Kazakhstan, Les Bleus are unbeaten in each of their last 15 competitive contests, a run that stems back to June 2019. Hosting a string of superstar names and also securing a semi-final showdown against Belgium in the Nations League for later this year, France should also be boosted by their continued success on the road. While Deschamps’ world champions might have only won one of their previous four contests in Paris, Wednesday’s guests have won each of their previous seven matchups on foreign soil, a run that has seen them pick up results against the likes of Portugal, Croatia and Sweden.
Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has withdrawn from France’s squad for their March fixtures and has returned back to the Premier League outfit.
Suffering what appeared to be a knock on his knee over the weekend, Anthony Martial is not expected to feature from the start out in Bosnia.
Key Factors to Consider
- France have won each of their last seven matchups outside of Paris, picking up wins against the likes of Portugal, Croatia and Sweden.
- The defending world champions have also conceded just a single goal in any of those seven straight victories on foreign soil.
- Bosnia have failed to win any of their last 10 matchups across all formats, a run that stems back to November 2019.
- Likewise, Wednesday’s hosts have failed to record a single strike in any of their last four contests on home soil.
- France have won each of their previous two trips out to Bosnia, securing victories in both 2010 and 2006.
Managing to fully open their account with a 2-0 win away in Kazakhstan over the weekend, there is no doubt that France should be smelling another golden chance on Wednesday night. With the world champions gaining a reputation for their continued success on foreign soil, The Blues have won each of their previous seven contests outside of Paris, picking the ball out of their own net just once. Up against a Bosnia side who have shown a host of issues over the past 18 months, The Dragons could be buckling themselves in for a long night’s work. Without a win in any of their last 10 straight matchups and also watching Northern Ireland squash their chances of reaching this summer’s European Championships, it should also be noted that Bosnia have failed to score a single strike on home soil since the start of October. With France winning each of their previous two trips to Sarajevo, we’re backing a similar outcome in midweek.
Verdict: France win to nil
Best Odds: 21/10
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