Ukraine v France: Blanc’s side can bring hosts down to earth

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A second half Andriy Shevchenko brace gave host nation Ukraine a fairytale start to Euro 2012, but they will struggle to replicate their victory over Sweden against France, hence their 5/2 underdogs tag.

Laurent Blanc’s men, who drew their opening tournament game 1-1 with England, are unbeaten in their last 22 games, and with 15 wins in that time, they look well overpriced at 11/10 to win on Friday.

The draw is 23/10 meanwhile, and those feeling that home advantage could play a part may be better taking up this option, as France haven’t lost to Ukraine in any of their previous six encounters.

Indeed, the last meeting of the sides ended 4-1 in France’s favour just last year, with that match also taking place in Ukraine.

It is a generous 16/5 that the French once again triumph in a match featuring three or more goals, and that deserves serious attention.

Braver punters could back a repeat of the exact same scoreline at 40/1, though it may be worth noting that Les Bleus have kept clean sheets in four of their six outings against Ukraine.

With this in mind, they look appealing at 11/8 to hold firm once again in Donetsk, or as tempting 2/1 shots to win without being breached.

Half markets may also prove a method for profit-making from this match, and a repeat of the sides drawing at half-time, with a French win the full-time result, would return at odds of 4/1.

As one of the leading fancies for the tournament Golden Boot award, Karim Benzema will be desperate to get off the mark at the Donbass Arena, and he is 5/2 to score in a French triumph.

Real Madrid striker Benzema can alternatively be backed to break the deadlock at 9/2, whilst Shevchenko is 9/1 to follow up his double with the opener for the hosts.

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

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