Blanc ready to begin new era in French football
Laurent Blanc’s quest to bring discipline and success back to the French national team begins in Norway as he takes a look at some of his fringe options ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.
Blanc has ignored all of the 23 players that considerably showed themselves up in South Africa as France failed to make it out of Group A and has instead opted for only nine names with previous international experience.
Les Bleus are 15/8 to hand Blanc an early win against a Norway side that struggled on the whole on their home patch when failing to qualify for the World Cup.
They only edged past Macedonia, drew with Iceland and fell to defeat against Holland.
Blanc does have some star names at his disposal as they were snubbed by former boss Raymond Domenech for the World Cup, including Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and Arsenal’s Samir Nasri, who has impressed during pre-season.
World Cup semi-finalists Germany also travel to Scandinavia to play Denmark with coach Joachim Loew choosing to rest some of the team that performed so well in South Africa.
West Ham midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger will captain the team, with Loew only having 16 players to pick from, including debutant Sascha Riether, who has been promised a debut.
Mario Gomez and Patrick Helmes are expected to lead the German line, with the country 13/10 to claim victory.
Elsewhere, Spain travel to Mexico with a large majority of the players who helped them lift the World Cup for the first time.
Fernando Torres and Andres Iniesta are among the few to miss out due to fitness troubles, with Spain 11/10 to continue their winning run.
New Barcelona striker David Villa is the 4/1 favourite to open the scoring, while Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez is 8/1 to do so for Mexico in Enrique Meza’s first outing as interim boss.
Spain have won their last four games 1-0 and this is 5/1 to be the correct score again.