France host the Netherlands in Paris on Thursday evening, with just three points separating the duo in the 2018 World Cup Qualifying standings in Group A.
World Cup 2018 Qualifying – Stade de France, Paris –Thursday 31st August – 19:45 UK Time
Best Odd of: 13/20 at Ladbrokes
Best Odd of: 13/5 at Sky Bet
Best Odd of: 21/5 at Coral
Match Preview: France vs Netherlands
Didier Deschamps’ men take on the Netherlands this week, with the home side looking to strengthen their position in Group A. France have won four of their opening six encounters, leaving them level on points with group leaders Sweden. Meanwhile, Dick Advocaat has led Holland to three wins from six, meaning that they find themselves three points behind their rivals heading into this fixture. Another loss for the visitors would be severely damaging to their chances of qualifying, with the pressure on the ‘Flying Dutchman’ to deliver.
France Team News & Form
France undoubtedly boast one of the finest playing squads in the whole of Europe, with the likes of Antonie Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Alexandre Lacazette likely to cause the Dutch defence all sorts of problems. A whole host of Premier League talent is available to Deschamps, as well as stars from Ligue 1, the Bundesliga and La Liga.
Kylian Mbappe has already made a name for himself on the international stage, however the young starlet may well miss out on Thursday, with a potential transfer to PSG on the cards before the end of the transfer window. Having suffered defeat to Sweden last time around, France will be looking to bounce back in style against the Netherlands.
Netherlands Team News & Form
Having missed out on a place at Euro 2016, Holland are under pressure to make next year’s World Cup in Russia. The Dutch have won their last two qualifying encounters with an aggregate score of 8-1. Robin van Persie has been recalled to the squad for their upcoming matches, with the former Arsenal and Manchester United man joining the likes of Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Daley Blind in an experienced Dutch line-up.
Head to Head
France defeated the Netherlands in the reverse fixture back in October, with Paul Pogba scoring the only goal of the game. The two teams have been among the most successful in European football history, with France having won twelve of their previous meetings, while the Dutch have come out on top ten times. However, Holland have not defeated France since Euro 2008, making them the underdogs for Thursday’s encounter.
Betting Odds and Predictions
In terms of betting markets, the first thing that springs to mind is backing a home victory for France. Given their recent dominance over the Netherlands, odds of 13/20 from Ladbrokes are certainly appealing.
Meanwhile, for those looking to back a surprise win for the away team, the same bookmakers are offering best odds of 9/2. However, with the amount of attacking talent on display, backing both teams to score is another market that is well worth utilising, with William Hill offering customers odds of 19/20.
Finally, backing there being over 2.5 goals during the 90 minutes is another attractive market, which can be found at odds of 21/20 at Ladbrokes.
Top Betting Tip
Despite all of these appealing markets, our top betting tip for this match is to back France to score first, which is available at odds of 4/9 at Ladbrokes.