Can Raymond Domenech’s disjointed French side beat the backlash and win big in South Africa?
France have never before made it to the finals of the FIFA World Cup on four successive occasions, but they have now, by qualifying for South Africa 2010.
Thinking back to the unstoppable French side of the 1990’s, it seems odd that bookmakers, experts, and perhaps fans alike are already writing the former World Champions off, but, as far as the team are concerned, the pressure will be off come the summer. Indeed the years of Zinedine Zidane, Laurent Blanc, Fabien Barthez, and Christophe Dugarry are behind them, but France’s new rejuvenated squad of youngsters have impressed in qualifying, despite having to play a playoff decider against the Republic of Ireland – a game that was blighted by a discrepancy concerning Theirry Henry’s winning goal; the Irish were certain he handled the ball, and video replays seemed to back this up. However, it is the French that will travel to South Africa.
The aforementioned Henry is arguably the team’s greatest threat, but Jeremy Toulalan, Real Madrid’s Lassana Diarra, and the strong and consistent midfield duo of Yoann Gourcuff and Franck Ribery will be called upon to put in big performances against some of the world’s best teams. Up front, it’s the firepower of Chelsea’s Nicholas Anelka, alongside ex Manchester United target Karim Benzema that are likely to pose problems to the opposition. The group stage draw could have been kinder to France, as they’ll face Uruguay, the hosts South Africa, and the ever dangerous Mexico, who have proved they can beat anybody on their day, and are likely to be even more problematic in the heat of Africa.
There is sure to be plenty of betting going on during this year’s World Cup so if you want to see the odds and stats of your favourite team then visit Gamebookers new World Cup site.