France v Albania: Back Giroud to fill his boots in Marseille

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They put in a spirited display against Switzerland but Albania will be no match for hosts France when the two teams meet in Marseille for their second match in Group A.

Gianni De Biasi’s side found themselves a goal down after just five minutes and then a man light for the second-half against the Swiss, following captain Lorik Cana’s dismissal.

Despite those handicaps, Shqiponjat remained competitive but the French will be a completely different proposition to a lacklustre Swiss outfit.

Granted, it took a moment of genius from Dimitri Payet for Les Bleus to eventually overcome Romania on the opening night. But with those cobwebs now blown away the hosts can get down to business and put on a show for their adoring public.

Olivier Giroud opened the scoring in that 2-1 victory at the Stade de France. And with the Arsenal hitman netting eight goals in his last eight appearances for the national team the 7/2 for him to score first again and the 9/2 to score two or more goals is appealing.

However, Giroud isn’t the only tempting proposition for a France outfit who are priced at 2/9 to win with the draw 11/2 and an Albania victory rated as a 16/1 long-shot.

Cana’s untimely suspension is likely to leave the Albanians even more open in the middle of the park and that’ll play into the hands of Payet and the under-fire duo of Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann.

The latter’s respective performances against Romania have come in for some criticism but this upcoming contest represents the perfect opportunity to silence a few of those doubters.

We’ve already seen Payet’s match-winning capabilities so the 7/4 for the midfielder to score in another France win is another option to consider.

However, it’s time for others to step-up to the plate too with Griezmann to net any time at 6/5 a potential value bet.

France’s 1-0 defeat to Albania in a friendly last year is widely regarded as a turning point for manager Didier Deschamps and his side.

Expect Les Bleus to go some way to erasing those painful memories courtesy of some standout displays from their leading lights.

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

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William Geldart

Having graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Wales, Bangor, William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.