heavyweight nations, Spain and France, meet up in the Euro 2012 quarters this
weekend. What kind of soccer odds are on offer for this one? The Spaniards
finished as the Group C winners while the French settled for a
second-place finish in Group D.
they meet up on Saturday, it's Spain that will be favored to advance.
Soccer odds makers have them at -130 to win while a France victory is
How did the French reach this point?
They started off their group campaign with a 1-1 draw
against England, the eventual Group D winners. Next, France put in their best
display of the tournament in a 2-0 win over co-hosts Ukraine, playing some
savvy soccer in the face of a daunting environment.
Finishing on a low
All was going swimmingly for the French - that is, until they
took on Sweden in their last group stage match. What a disaster!
Laurent Blanc went with Hatem Ben Arfa and Yann M'Vila in
his starting XI, but nothing clicked. France looked extremely poor
throughout and even their stars like Karim Benzema, Franck Ribery and Samir
Nasri couldn't make an impact. At the final whistle, the French had lost to
After it was all said and done, France was actually lucky England
was able to squeak past Ukraine, or else they would have been eliminated from
Spain had a little easier go of things in their group,
finishing with seven points and the first-place finish.
After a 1-1 deadlock with Italy in their first match, the
Spaniards creamed Ireland 4-0 and then were a bit lucky to get the full three
points against Croatia. Spain didn't look nearly as dangerous as they had in
previous matches and much of the credit should go to the Croatians, who came in
with a great tactical plan and executed well.
Vincent del Bosque's decision to start Fernando Torres
didn't really pay off, as he was far from threatening against the Croatians.
His substitute, Jesus Navas, came on with 30 minutes remaining and scored the
match-winning goal with just minutes left on the clock.
A win is a win, and the fact the Spaniards were still able to
get three points despite one of their most disappointing performances shows
just how strong this team can be when firing on all cylinders.
Dream quarterfinal clash
That's why we are going to go with Spain to win and cover in
The French were terrible against Sweden, giving us a lot of
doubts as to if this team has the right makeup to make a deep run. Their
defense has left a lot to be desired and will be without Philippe Mexes this
weekend due to a yellow-card suspension.
And, even if Spain didn't play their A game against Croatia,
they still got the result.
Plus, they may be without uber-experienced center back
Carles Puyol, but Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos have proved to be a solid
partnership. With them leading the way, the Spaniards have allowed only one
goal in three matches.
Further up the pitch, we've already mentioned in previous
articles just how stacked this team is. The fact that Cesc Fabregas, Jesus Navas,
Juan Mata, and Pedro all started on the bench in the latest match says it all.
How can we bet against Spain here? France was immensely
disappointing against a far inferior team in Sweden, and that's not going to do
anything good for their confidence leading up to this one. Mentally, will they
be in the right frame of mind?
Now they play the defending champions, who will be dying to
show the world that they deserve to be the main favorites over Germany. We like
del Bosque's squad to prove their superiority this weekend.
FREE Pick: Spain -130