France were dealt a blow this week when it was announced that Marseille forward Loic Remy, who had been nursing an injury picked up playing for his club, had lost his race to be fit for Euro 2012.
Despite that, however, Les Blues still have an abundance of attacking talent at their disposal, and in Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema, they possess one of the most feared strikers in Europe.
Benzema enjoyed great success in Madrid this season, notching 32 goals in 52 games for Jose Mourinho’s side to help them claim La Liga title ahead of Barcelona, while also managing to strike three times in the qualification stages for his country.
Benzema is joint-favourite to open proceedings against Iceland in Valenciennes at 5/2 along with Montpellier forward Olivier Giroud, who helped his side pip PSG to the Ligue 1 title this season.
Giroud is sure to be at the centre of transfer speculation this summer, and it’s not hard to see why, with the frontman bagging 21 goals in 36 matches for his club.
The 25-year-old scored first when France travelled to Germany for a friendly match at the end of February as he found space in the box to divert a cross under the keeper and set France on their way to a 2-1 victory.
But unlike Benzema, Giroud is a relative novice on the international stage, having received his first call-up in November last year, so he will be eager to demonstrate his talents in a France shirt ahead of their opening Euro 2012 game against England.
Giroud is sure to be at the centre of transfer speculation this summer, and it’s not hard to see why, with the frontman bagging 21 goals in 36 matches for his club, sparking recent rumours that Arsene Wenger is looking to make a move.
Both players will fancy their chances of finding the net against an Iceland side who finished second bottom of their Euro 2012 qualifying group, conceding 14 times in eight games, and ten in their last three matches.
Another player who found the net in France’s victory over Germany is Chelsea winger Florent Malouda, who has had a rather frustrating season with the Blues, finding himself on the bench for a number of games.
He does however impress when he pulls on the national shirt, and he notched three goals in the qualification stages.
He could therefore be worth backing at evens to score at any time.
With the opening game of Euro 2012 a matter of weeks away, each and every member of Laurent Blanc’s side will be looking to perform in the warm-up matches, and a poor Iceland side should provide the perfect opportunity for many of them to do so.
Recommended bet: Giroud to score first @ 5/2
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