France v Honduras – France to Bleu Honduras Away
France v Honduras
The French have an ideal opportunity to get off to a quick start when they take on Honduras in their opening fixture. Here’s my value bets.
France showed good character in qualifying for the World Cup, after losing the first leg of their play-off with Ukraine 2-0 in Kiev then coming through as 3-2 aggregate winners. Didier Deschamps’ side could go far in this summer’s tournament and were unlucky not to qualify directly from the group stages, having lost only one game – a narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Spain.
Les Bleus have looked particularly good since securing qualification and have beaten Holland, Norway and Jamaica and drawn with Paraguay, scoring a total of 14 goals and conceding just one in four international friendlies over the past few months. Most recently they saw off Jamaica 8-0, with Karim Benzema, Blaise Matuidi and Antoine Griezmann each grabbing a brace.
Honduras will take some encouragement from the way that they battled out a goalless draw against England in Miami last week. Although the rain interruption midway through the first half certainly helped Luis Fernando Suárez’s men more than it did their opponents.
It was notable in that game that the Hondurans were keen to play rough as they picked up four yellow cards and a red in what was supposed to be a friendly. I expect that they’ll carry those tactics into the tournament proper.
Qualification for the World Cup came via a third place finish in CONCACAF qualifying, ahead of Mexico but behind Costa Rica and USA. Jerry Bengston and Carlo Costly each scored four times to end the campaign as joint-top scorers.
Franck Ribéry’s back injury that has ruled him out of the tournament is a big blow to the French, while Lyon midfielder Clément Grenier has also failed to make the trip to Brazil. Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin and Newcastle target Rémy Cabella have been called up as replacements.
Honduras have the likes of Wilson Palacios, Emilio Izaguirre and Maynor Figueroa amid their ranks.
Head to Head
France and Honduras have never previously met each other in a recognised international fixture.
There shouldn’t be too many problems for France here and odds of 4/11 on them taking all three points is pretty good value. Consequently the handicap markets also contain some good value bets with France (-1) at odds of EVS and France (-2) at odds of 16/5.
The Hondurans showed very little attacking threat or intent in the game against England last week and so the 4/5 on France keeping a clean sheet is also a standout punt. And I also like the look of the 3-0 and 4-0 scorelines in the Correct Score market at odds of 13/2 and 14/1 respectively.