France possess arguably the most talent-rich squad at the 2018 World Cup, replete with world-class superstars in every position. Yet Les Bleus are only fourth favorites to win the competition, priced at +650 with bet365, behind Brazil, Germany and Spain.
This is largely explained by the fact that, for some time now, France as a team haven’t quite been able to realize their potential. They reached the final of Euro 2016 on home soil only to lose to underdogs Portugal and despite qualifying with relative ease, a defeat to Sweden and scoreless draws with Belarus and Luxembourg dampened enthusiasm.
Didier Deschamps’ men are still expected to be among the contenders in Russia, however, and our friends at Football Whispers have picked out the three best ways to bet on France at the tournament.
Although France weren’t always especially impressive through qualification, they still managed to top one of the more difficult groups in the European sector, finishing above the likes of Sweden, the Netherlands and Bulgaria.
France did not rank among the highest European performers in many key statistics during qualification – 12th for goals (18), seventh for accurate passes (5147), seventh for shots per game (18.1) and seventh for big chances created (18) – but the fact they managed to top a tricky group showed how their sheer level of individual talent is usually enough to get the job done.
In Russa, Les Bleus will face Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C. Boasting such gifted individuals as Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappé, France should have more than enough quality to top the group, for which bet365 price them at -350 to achieve.
Should France top their group as expected, they will face the runners-up from Group D, with one of Nigeria, Iceland and Croatia expected to have finished behind 2014 finalists Argentina. Any of those three nations should not be able to halt Les Bleus’ progress.
In the quarter-finals, Portugal are a likely opponent for France, offering Deschamps’ men the chance to avenge their Euro 2016 embarrassment. While the Portuguese will be led by Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, they cannot match France for quality all over the pitch.
As such, France should be expected to reach at least the semi-finals, and you can get them at +120 with bet365 to do so. From there, they will probably face one of the big hitters – favorites Brazil are likely to be on the same side of the bracket – who can match them for individual quality while perhaps bettering their tactical balance.
Griezmann for Golden Ball
Top scorer and voted best player at Euro 2016, 27-year-old France striker Griezmann has already proven his pedigree on the international stage.
Set to spearhead Les Bleus’ attack in Russia, the Atlético Madrid forward enters the tournament in fine fettle, having scored 29 all-competitions goals and registered 15 assists for the Spanish side during the 2017/18 season, including a brace in the Europa League final.
Reportedly a big-money target for Barcelona, with his pace, intelligent movement and lethal left foot, Griezmann has all the tools to shine at the World Cup.
Others may ultimately score more goals to pip him to the Golden Boot, but, at +1200 with bet365, the Frenchman is great value to win the Golden Ball award for the tournament’s best player.