Tuesday 12 June – Stade de France – International Friendly
Gareth Southgate takes England to France for a glamour international friendly following the weekend’s World Cup qualifiers. There’s likely to be an experimental look to both sides as Southgate and Didier Deschamps assess their options.
England and France have only met 30 times, with the Three Lions having recorded 17 victories compared to seven by Les Bleus. In the modern era games between the countries have been tight affairs – only twice in the last 11 have there been more than 2.5 goals in the game.
Both sides will experiment after disappointing results in their World Cup qualifying games last weekend. For England Southgate will give opportunities in goal to Burnley’s Tom Heaton and Stoke City’s Jack Butland, Heaton being given the nod to start the game. Harry Kane will skipper the side again after his captain’s goal in Saturday’s draw with Scotland.
Kane’s Tottenham team-mate Hugo Lloris will be determined to keep a clean sheet as he looks to respond from his howler in Sweden where he was beaten from the half way line by Ola Toivonen. Olivier Giroud has an excellent home scoring record and will hope to continue after scoring at the weekend.
France v England Preview and Predictions
France have greater strength in depth than England and with home advantage are likely to come out on top. They have won seven of their last nine home friendlies and that is reflected in odds of 19/20 for them to win again.
Southgate will not want to lose but is pragmatic and will be pleased to learn about his squad for the battles ahead rather than worrying too much about a friendly result. It is 20 years this month since England have won in France. Since then they have lost four times and drawn once. Goals have been in short supply for England against France with only nine goals scored in the last 11 meetings but if you take them to hold tight and sneak a 1-0 win you can get odds of 11/1. If these odds appeal to you, check out our free bets page here.
Having looked likely to move into the Premier League before his recent change of mind Antoine Griezmann has an extra incentive to show he can find a way through England’s defence and at 9/2 to score the first goal he is a man to watch.
In form Harry Kane at 13/2 is England’s best hope and if he can be provided with the chances he is always likely to find the back of the net.
France to win 2-0 at 17/2
If England remain goal-shy against France the home side’s strength in depth may be too much against an experimental England.
Harry Kane to score the first goal at 13/2
The in-form Tottenham man would love a goal against his club-mate Hugo Lloris and is decent odds to open the scoring.