Laurent Blanc will be looking for a vast improvement from his players after France had to fight back from two goals down to see off Iceland in their first Euro 2012 warm-up match on Sunday evening.
One of the positives for Blanc was the impact made by substitute Olivier Giroud, who was introduced to the fray with a third of the game remaining and Les Bleus trailing 2-1.
Not only did Giroud assist Franck Ribery for the equaliser, but he also set up Adil Rami for the winner.
Given his cameo at the weekend, the Montpellier forward, who topped the Ligue 1 goalscorer chart this season with 21 league goals, could be used from the start against Sinisa Mihajlovic’s Serbia on Thursday evening.
With two games remaining before his side takes on England in their opening Euro 2012 group game, Giroud will be doing everything he can to stake a claim for a starting spot.
Blanc has tended to favour Benzema as the focal point in attack since taking the helm, but with France far from prolific in qualifying compared to the likes of Spain, Holland and Germany, he may test the option of pairing the Real Madrid man with Giroud.
Giroud has been priced at 5/1 to open the scoring, as he did in France’s recent 2-1 victory over Germany, and new customers who sign up to bwin.com and place their free £25 bet on this outcome would see a return of £150 should it be successful.
Bayern Munich midfielder Ribery admitted his relief at scoring his first international goal since April 2009 on Sunday, with the Champions League finalist unable to replicate the form he has shown for his club side in recent years.
Ribery managed to find the net on 15 occasions this term in all competitions for Bayern, and having finally ended his drought for France, he could also be a good option to back at 5/1 to score the first goal of the game.
Despite their poor form in front of goal in recent matches – they have found the net just twice in their previous six games – Serbia will fancy their chances against what looks a far from competent France defence, as highlighted against Iceland.
For those looking for a good outside bet in the goalscoring market you should look no further than Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, who managed to score five goals for his club this season, despite being employed mainly at right-back.
The defender also netted in Serbia’s 2-0 victory away in Armenia in a friendly at the end of February, and at 17/1 to open proceedings, the man who is supposedly being targeted by Real Madrid this summer could come up trumps.
The most appealing in the goalscoring market however is Giroud, and with two games remaining before his side takes on England in their opening Euro 2012 group game, the forward will be doing everything he can to stake a claim for a starting spot.
Recommended bet: Giroud to score first @ 5/1
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