France to finally gather momentum by beating rusty China
Nicolas Anelka was the latest French footballer to fall by the wayside when he crashed his bike during the team’s recent cycling trip, but the former world champions are sure to get back on track with a win against China.
Raymond Domenech’s French side have been distinctly unimpressive of late, but they are still expected to win this match, as the 1/6 odds demonstrate.
With one victory in their last four matches – a sketchy 2-1 defeat of Costa Rica – Domenech’s side seem a long way from reproducing their World Cup winning form of 1998.
Fortunately for the French, they face an out-of-practice China team who have not played since their 2-0 loss to Portugal in March.
Although they haven’t qualified for this year’s tournament, 2002 participants China’s defeat to Portugal was their first in 15 matches, so Gao Hongbo’s men should be at least competitive.
France, however, have only suffered one defeat in their last 11 games, and a win for China, ranked 84th in the world, is highly unlikely at 11/1.
Les Bleus will have their all-time leading scorer, Thierry Henry, available, and the Barcelona forward will be looking to add to his 51 international goals.
The captain will be in good company up front, with appearances expected for Chelsea’s Anelka and Toulouse striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, who is attracting interest from Europe’s top clubs.
There have been few thrashings among the pre-World Cup friendly matches, but Brazil, Germany and Chile have all beaten lesser opponents 3-0.
And if you think France can also use their attacking firepower and overall superior class to stroll past China, you can bet on them to 3-0 win at 6/1.