France v Romania: Back hosts to win a tense opener by one goal

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With the likes of Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud in their ranks, many are expecting France to breeze past a Romania side with no star names in their squad. But while Les Bleus should win, there’s plenty of reason to believe this will be a tight game with few goals.

Romania finished Euro 2016 qualifying with the best defensive record in Europe, having conceded just twice in 10 matches en route to this summer’s showpiece.

And they certainly won’t be overawed away by the pressure away from their home patch, having kept clean sheets in all five of their away games during qualification.

By contrast, France face their first competitive game since the 2014 World Cup, and while they possess a wealth of individual quality, they’re likely to take some time to settle, having not faced a high-pressure fixture for almost two years.

That said, Les Blues are unlikely to drop any points at Stade de France tomorrow night. Romania’s mediocre attack is too blunt to cause any serious problems, while Didier Deschamps’ men haven’t failed to score at home since March 2013 – a record set to continue, with a wealth of attacking talent at his disposal.

That impressive home record is reflected in the match betting, with France 3/10 for victory, with a draw 21/5 and 12/1 for the Tricolorii to record a sensational win.

However, the best value looks to be on a narrow home win, with 4/1 for Les Blues to win 1-0, while Giroud to score and France to win 1-0 is 14s.

The latter could prove an especially popular bet, with the Arsenal man having netted the first goal in three of his last seven outings for the national side.

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

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.