As it stands, the Ukrainians are tops in Group D, but now must deal with the favored French. How are each of these teams looking up to this point in the tournament, and who are the soccer odds makers favoring to walk away with the win?
Soccer odds are out for the entire group stage and for this
match, France is favored at +110 to grasp victory. Ukraine can be backed at
+250, with a draw listed at +230.
Sportsbooks aren't looking for too many goals here, with the
total at two. That's attracting a lot of interest from the public, as the OVER
is at -125 and the UNDER is at -105.
As for each team's first results of the competition, the
French tied the disciplined English, while Ukraine scored a come-from-behind
2-1 win over Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Swedes.
Two international giants, France and England, played one
another in the first playday and the match ended in a 1-1 deadlock. The French
got their goal from Samri Nasri off a nifty shot from outside the box.
As favorites coming in, Laurent Blanc’s team didn’t dominate
proceedings like many expected. Far from it. There were plenty of unforced poor
decisions and the backline was definitely suspect as well.
Decisive Group D encounter
The commentators made note that France’s central defense
pairing of Philippe Mexes and Adil Rami looked nervy and they were spot on.
That’s definitely going to be a cause for concern for French fans going forward
in this tournament.
Nonetheless, France was dangerous going forward (as many
thought they would be) as Nasri, Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery linked well
with each other.
The Ukrainians meanwhile were the only team in Group D to
win their first match.
Going down 1-0 to Sweden following a neat Zlatan Ibrahimovic
finish, the crowd desperately tried to spur their beloved team on. It didn’t
take long for a response.
And who was the hero? Andriy Shevchenko. That’s right, the
Ukrainian legend equalized only minutes later and soon after he put the hosts
ahead with another header. Ukraine held on for the 2-1 win and the treasured
Shevchenko is a cult hero in Ukraine and only further padded
his status as the country’s best player of all time.
Alongside Shevchenko, Andriy Voronin and Yevhen Konoplyanka
were both threats going forward. You may remember Voronin from his unsuccessful
stint at Liverpool, but the veteran has been re-born for Dynamo Moscow and his
Can Ukraine delight the home fans again?
Now the Ukrainian attack will look to get past France in
what will be a decisive day in Group D.
Sweden may have had Zlatan Ibrahimovic asking questions, but
on the whole France has many more dangerous weapons on their frontline.
Ukraine’s defense looked rather vulnerable despite the win and the French could
be primed for a much more successful day in attack.
Comparing Ukraine’s defensive four to England’s is like
comparing an old banged up car to a brand new Ferrari. The Brits are renowned
for being tough to break down, especially now that they’ve got Roy Hodgson
doing the tactical diligence.
The Ukrainians are nowhere near as stout in that respect and
you’d have to think France is going to get at least a goal in this match.
Still, the crowd is going to be a factor, no ifs ands or
buts about it, and taking the French’s unconvincing performance defensively
into consideration, we believe this clash may just end up as another draw.
Don't underestimate the influence of that home crowd, as
well as the power of legends like Shevchenko. Guys like him seem to transcend
age and always thrive in the biggest of spotlights.
Both teams had issues defensively in their first matches,
meaning we have the most faith in the OVER for Friday's clash.
FREE Pick: OVER 2 goals (-125)