Two of the favourites in bwin’s Euro 2012 betting market will lock horns tomorrow evening as Germany welcome France for an intriguing international friendly.
The hosts will be without a clutch of big names for the Weserstadion clash, with skipper Philipp Lahm, vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker either injured or rested.
Boss Joachim Low also has fitness concerns over Miroslav Klose and Sami Khedira as he aims to extend an impressive run of just one defeat in 19 competitive and friendly matches.
While he was giving nothing away in his pre-match press conference, Low is expected to hand a start to the exciting Marco Reus, who has been impressive in Borussia Monchengladbach’s surprise Bundesliga title challenge.
The attacking threat carried by Reus and likely partners in crime Mesut Ozil, Leverkusen flier Andre Schurrle and either Klose or Mario Gomez explains why Germany are the current 13/20 favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market for the match.
However, Low will not be underestimating France, whose disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign is now a distant memory as boss Laurent Blanc continues to revive their fortunes.
Les Bleus have injury worries of their own – Karim Benzema, Loic Remy and Younes Kaboul have all been ruled out – but they will be full of confidence as they are unbeaten since September 2010.
Giroud has smashed 16 goals in 24 games in Montpellier’s shock rise to the summit of Ligue 1 and is a five-star bet at 5/2 to hit the back of the net at some point.
With in-form Montpellier target man Olivier Giroud looking set to lead the line, France will no doubt have their backers at odds of 9/2, while the draw is available at 5/2.
Low was full of praise for a French defensive unit which conceded just four goals in ten Euro 2012 qualifying matches, but it would be a major surprise if Blanc’s men manage a clean sheet on Wednesday.
And considering Germany have recorded just one shut-out in their past 11 matches – in a 3-0 win over Holland last November – backing both teams to score is a great short-priced option at 19/20 and arguably the pick of the bunch.
Meanwhile, a look at the statistics from the recent qualification campaign shows that Germany scored over a third of their goals in the final 15 minutes of their games (12 of 34 goals).
With this in mind, they are a great play at 7/5 to score more goals after the interval than they manage in the first half, while they are at evens to win the second half outright.
In the goalscorer markets, there are several tempting options, with Schurrle, who has already racked up five goals from 11 caps, ‘surely’ (sorry) among the best of them.
The 21-year-old will probably start on the left of a front three against an international novice in right-back Mathieu Debuchy and is at 6/1 to score first or 17/10 to notch at any time.
Klose and Gomez are proven goalscorers at this level so backing whoever starts to get on the scoresheet certainly makes sense – they are both at 4/1 to break the deadlock and 11/10 to score at any time.
And with France good for one goal at least, Giroud, who has been attracting interest from some of Europe’s top clubs, looks tremendous value to be the man to oblige if, as expected, he gets the nod from Blanc.
The powerful front man has smashed 16 goals in 24 games in Montpellier’s shock rise to the summit of Ligue 1 and is a five-star bet at 5/2 to hit the back of the net at some point, with equally impressive odds of 9/1 to score first.
Punters joining bwin.com receive a free £25 bet and placing this on Giroud to break the deadlock would return a cool £250 if successful.
But if you want to play it safe, look no further than those 19/20 odds on both teams scoring in what should be a fascinating match in Bremen.
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