France can continue trend of opening scoring against Spain

In a quarter-final where defending champions Spain will enjoy 4/5 favouritism, France look well worth investment at 7/4 to score the first goal of the game.

Laurent Blanc’s men, who are 4/1 to win in 90 minutes, come into this tie on the back of a defeat, but a noteworthy pattern has developed in their tournament clashes with Spain.

Said trend is the French finding the net before their opponents, and this has occurred on three of the four times the teams have met in major competitions.

They have a 100 per cent record of registering first in European championship clashes with Spain too, and so that statistic will further encourage punters taking on that 7/4 price on Saturday.

It should also be noted that Spain conceded first in their Euro 2012 opener with Italy, and have appeared susceptible to quick counter-attacking play so far in the competition.

This was undoubtedly evident in their last outing against Croatia, where fast-paced breaks almost resulted in the goals that could have sent the Spanish home at the group stage.

Given France’s abundant pace in attacking areas, they should be able to expose a Spain backline that seems at its most fragile for some time.

Also, Blanc’s side could improve defensively for the upcoming clash, and will be fired up to do so in the aftermath of shipping two goals to already-eliminated Sweden on Tuesday.

Central defender Philippe Mexes picked up his second booking of the tournament in that match, and as such will serve a suspension for this weekend’s quarter-final.

That could prove a blessing in disguise for the French, with Mexes often scrutinised in the media, and his performances in Poland and Ukraine doing little to suggest he doesn’t warrant lambasting in the manner he sometimes is.

The vastly-improved Laurent Koscielny is set to replace him on Saturday, and all things considered, the French look good to break the deadlock at 7/4.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.