Switzerland v France: Perfection beckons for prolific hosts
France haven’t been brilliant yet at their own tournament but, rather than serving as a reason to write them off, it should terrify the other trophy hopefuls that they have got out of their group with a game to spare without performing anywhere near to their full potential.
Both Romania and Albania were dismissed in the 89th minute or later and, though Switzerland are perceived to represent a step up in quality due to the presence of players like Stephan Lichtsteiner, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, 19/20 looks a mighty fine price on a triumph for the hosts.
After all, a close contest was expected when the nations collided in the group stage of World Cup 2014, only for Les Bleus to enjoy an extraordinary 5-2 victory which could have been even worse – they led 5-0 after 73 minutes before finally showing their border buddies some mercy.
The result went the same way the last time that the pair met at the Euros in 2004, with two second-half Thierry Henry goals earning France a 3-1 success.
Didier Deschamps’ men could hardly be carrying more momentum with them to Lille either, with the current six-match winning streak already their longest in over five years.
Switzerland by contrast had to rally from behind just to take a point from Romania last time out. They have lost three of their past six outings and their wins in that run arrived in the 75th minute at home to Moldova and against an Albania side forced to compete with ten men for almost an hour.
If you think they will find a new level to avenge what France did to them in Salvador, they are 24/5 to prevail, with the draw a 2/1 shot.
One thing they will be confident of doing is scoring, having done so in both of their Group A encounters to date, seven of their closing eight qualifiers and their two pre-tournament friendlies.
Les Bleus have managed a mere two clean sheets in seven attempts, conceding nine times in that sequence, and are 15/4 to win a match in which both teams net.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.