Thursday, November 21, 2019

Prediction: France vs Colombia

Dan Steeden in Free Soccer Predictions 22 Mar 2018

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Verdict: France to Win

Best Odds: 1/2

Bookmakers: Bet 365

France host Colombia for a high-profile international friendly in the run up to the World Cup in Russia this summer. Les Bleus are in excellent form, losing just once in their past 10 games, while the visitors will be looking to end their struggles. The 2016 European Championship finalists will be the favourites ahead of this clash, but the Colombia squad is by no means lacking in talent.

France 

Didier Dechamps’ side experienced heartbreak on home soil during the 2016 European Championships, losing in extra time to Portugal in the final of the competition. France were a much-fancied team with a number of top quality players and it was little surprise that they made it to the final, though they did have to knock out Germany in the semi-finals. Little has changed in terms of personnel since their defeat to Portugal and Les Bleus remain one of the best international sides in world football.

France have lost just two of their 15 games since the Euros and only once in qualification for the World Cup. In fact their qualification campaign saw Deschamps’ men bag 18 goals and conceded just six, allowing them to top their group with ease and book their place in Russia. Two years ago it was Antoine Griezmann who shone for Les Bleus, winning the Euros’ Golden Boot award, but the likes of Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud are all capable of stepping up to win crucial games. The quality in the France squad should allow them to breeze past Colombia with little trouble.

Team News

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola, Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda.

Defenders: Lucas Digne, Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, Laurent Koscielny, Benjamin Pavard, Djibril Sidibe, Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane.

Midfielders: N’Golo Kante, Thomas Lemar, Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba, Adrien Rabiot, Corentin Tolisso.

Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder, Ousmane Dembele, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Anthony Martial, Kylian Mbappe, Florian Thauvin.

Colombia 

Los Cafeteros remain a competent international side with a high profile in South America, but their form leading up to this World Cup has been sporadic to say the least. Since the 2016 Copa America they have won six, drawn six and lost five of their 17 games, and there has been little pattern to their form based on difficult of opponent or any other significant factors.

In truth Jose Pekerman’s side just about scraped through World Cup qualifying, beating both Peru and Chile by just a single point to book their spot in Russia. A goal difference of just +2 is perhaps a good indicator of how fine they cut it, but also a warning sign that the defensive side of their game could do with some work before the summer.

To their credit however Colombia did achieve a lot of success at the 2016 Copa America, eventually finishing third after beating the USA 0-1 in the third-place playoff game. That was a respectable finish in the tournament, and they will perhaps be even more pleased with the fact that eventual winners Chile failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Team News

Goalkeepers: David Ospina, Camilo Vargas

Defenders: Cristian Zapata, Davinson Sanchez, Jefferson Lerma, Yerry Mina, Johan Mojica, Bernardo Espinosa, Santiago Arias, Oscar Murillo, Frank Fabra.

Midfielders: Jose Heriberto Izquierdo, James Rodriguez, Carlos Sanchez, Giovanni Moreno, Mateus Uribe, Wilmar Barrios, Juan Fernando Quintero, Abel Aguilar, Victor Cantillo

Forwards: Duvan Zapata, Carlos Bacca, Luis Fernando Muriel, Radamel Falcao, Miguel Borja, Yimmi Chara

Key Factors to Consider

  • France have lost just one of their last 10 games.
  • Didier Dechamps’ side scored 18 times across that stretch of games.
  • Colombia have won just three of their last 10 games.
  • Los Cafeteros scored just nine goals across that stretch of games.
  • These sides have met three times and France have won all three games.

Conclusion

Colombia have some exceptional players and the likes of Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez stand out in particular. Their squad pales in comparison to that of France however, and Les Bleus head into this game in great form and with a lot of confidence after a successful World Cup qualification campaign. 1/2 is a good price for the home side, who should breeze to victory here.

Verdict: France to Win

Best Odds: 1/2

Bookmakers: Bet 365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Steeden


Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

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