Unbeaten in their last 21 games, France enter Euro 2012 full of confidence ahead of their opening group match against England tomorrow evening.
One man many will be expecting to impress throughout the tournament is forward Karim Benzema, who comes into the competition on the back of a successful season at Real Madrid.
The forward notched 32 goals in all competitions for Jose Mourinho’s side, his exploits slightly overshadowed by Cristiano Ronaldo as Madrid pipped Barcelona to the La Liga title.
Benzema has found the net 15 times in his Les Bleus career, including a double in a 4-0 win over Estonia in their final warm-up match on Tuesday evening, and the striker is priced at 5/1 to open proceedings against the Three Lions.
This is exactly what he did when the two sides met back in November 2010, as he scored first in a 2-1 victory at Wembley.
A successful free £25 bet – which is available to anyone joining bwin,com – on Benzema to score first would see a return of £150.
Helping Benzema in attack will be Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery, who has rediscovered his goalscoring touch for France having found the net in his last three matches.
Benzema is priced at 5/1 to open proceedings against the Three Lions. This is exactly what he did when the two sides met back in November 2010, as he scored first in a 2-1 victory at Wembley.
Prior to his strike against Iceland in a 3-2 win two weeks ago, Ribery had not scored for the national side since April 2009; a surprising record given how regularly he has been scoring for his club (12 Bundesliga goals last term).
A bet on Ribery to score for a fourth game in a row is certainly worth considering, and he can be backed at 8/1 to open the scoring, or 9/4 to score at any time.
Despite their quality going forward, there are some concerns regarding the French backline, which was exposed in their victory over Iceland, a game in which they had to fight back from two goals down.
While England may not be blessed with the same ability going forward, backing Roy Hodgson’s side to score in the game could prove fruitful.
In Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck, England have a player who will be brimming with confidence after breaking into Sir Alex Ferguson’s starting 11 on a regular basis last season.
Welbeck will be eager to impress Hodgson in his first senior international competition and he did just that in his last appearance, bagging the only goal of the game in England’s final warm-up match against Belgium.
The lanky striker is expected to start up top and is priced at a tempting 8/1 to score first against the French, while he can also be backed at 9/4 to score at any time.
With the last six meetings between these sides producing at least one goal – and the winner of likely to put themselves in a strong position to win the group – a goalless draw looks out of the question.
Benzema’s price to score first is too good to miss, but cover yourself for the potential for England scoring as well by getting on Welbeck to notch at any time.
Karim Benzema to score first @ 5/1
Danny Welbeck to score at any time @ 9/4
New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet or click here to see all our Euro 2012 odds.
Follow us on Twitter @bwinbetting