France v Romania – Stade de France at 20:00 live on ITV
Tomorrow night sees the curtain raiser to the 2016 European Championships as host nation France take on Romania in the Group A opener.
As well as being the host nation, Les Bleus are tournament favourites and will be hoping for a good start to the campaign. They are a short 1.32 to win tomorrow night, but history is not on their side.
Only one of the last seven hosts have been victorious in the opening match of this competition. That team was France though, back in 1984, defeating Denmark 1-0.
There is no doubt that the French are a class side and have one of, if not the best midfields and attacks in this years tournament. They have been formidable in their 4 friendlies since the turn of the year, scoring 13 times, winning each match.
I think they are on the short side for tomorrow though, as their defence is not as strong as it could be. They are without Varane and Sakho at the back and Lassana Diarra who was expected to play in the defensive midfield position.
Romania are by no means a strong attacking threat but they may be able to exploit a weakened French rear-guard. Where they have excelled though, has been defensively, boasting the best record in qualifying, conceding just twice in 10 games. They will have their work cut out tomorrow though against the likes of Giroud, Griezmann, Payet, Martial and Coman to name just a few.
The Romanians may just bring some confidence into this match however. Despite having not beaten the French in their last 10 meetings, they have held Les Bleus in 4 of their last 5 encounters and I think they are good value on the Asian Handicap betting market with a 1.5 goals advantage.
Another market where there is some value is the goals market. The trend for these opening matches has been to back Under 2.5 goals with just 2 of the last 9 seeing 3 goals or more. The average goals scored in the last 9 curtain raisers is 1.89 but with arguably the best attack in the tournament on the field, who themselves have a weakened defence, backing Over 2.5 at 2.13 offers some value.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Romania +1.5 at 1.94 & Over 2.5 goals at 2.14
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