Spain v France
Sunday 10 October, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports
Enrique’s Spain on the up
Spain came through a group that contained Germany, Switzerland and the Ukraine, and then built on their impressive display at the Euros by beating Italy in the semis on Tuesday night in Milan.
Luis Enrique’s men were aided by a first half red to Leonardo Bonucci, but it is worth noting that they were 1-0 up at the time anyway. Ferran Torres had given them the lead, and the Man City forward scored his second just before the break.
The only thing this Spain team is still lacking is a an out-and-out goalscorer in the David Villa and Fernando Torres mould, but if Torres keeps on finding the net, it shouldn’t be a major issue. He is a slight injury doubt, but he is expected to be fit.
Barcelona youngster, Gavi, should also keep his place in midfield, and he’s certainly one to watch.
Which France will we see tonight?
There was another Jekyll and Hyde performance for France in their semi-final against Belgium. They were 2-0 down at half-time, but Didier Deschamp’s men were able to turn it on in the final 30 minutes – scoring three unanswered goals.
It must frustrate Deschamps given how good we know his side can be, but they are susceptible to below-par displays – as evidenced in the Euros, where they won just one of four games. Even since then they have been held by Bosnia and the Ukraine in World Cup Qualifying.
Les Bleus will have to win tonight without the services of both Adrien Rabot and the already absent, N’Golo Kate. Monaco youngster, Aurélien Tchouaméni could get the nod to replace the former.
The Betfair layers have the World Champions as the 2.6613/8 favourites for this final in Milan tonight, and I don’t think that is too bad a bet.
Obviously it depends on which French side turns up, but they surely have to be boosted by their second half performance against the Belgians, and they have much more big game experience in their ranks.
Spain are trading at around the 3.185/40 mark, with the draw the outsider at 3.39/4. They are still a little bit of a work in progress though, and they might just come up short.
The Over/Under 2.5 Goal Market offers another good betting opportunity, as Overs is the outsider at 2.3611/8, and I think that is a shade overpriced.
All three of the Nations League fixtures this week have had at least three goals, and while this is of course a big game, it shouldn’t be as tense as say a European or World Final.
The stats are in our favour too, with five of Spain’s last nine ending with three goals or more, and the same can be said for five of France’s last 10.
It’s also worth considering that the French forward line consists of Griezmann, Mbappe and Benzema, who can score three goals themselves against any opposition in the world when in the mood.
My Bet Builder on the Sportsbook comes in at 13/2 and it consists of France to Lift the Trophy, Over 2.5 Goals, Mbappe to score and Mbappe to have 2+ Shots on Target.
Let’s hope the PSG striker banishes the nightmare of a terrible Euros, which culminated in a penalty shootout miss.