Romania looking to upset French

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Betting preview: Romania v France

Sportingweb betting guide Romania 4.5/1 Draw 2.5/1 France 0.84/1

At face value, France, the world’s seventh-ranked team, would appear to be too strong for eastern Europe’s Romania. However, that would be to ignore the fact that Romania are ranked just five places lower than France at the moment.

Also, Romania come into this tournament after two emphatic victories in their warm-up matches. They beat Montenegro, ranked 142nd, 4-0 last Saturday and Russia, ranked 24th, 3-0 the previous Monday.

France’s performances in their warm-up matches have been described as timid. Although they beat 19th-ranked Columbia 1-0 and 59th-ranked Ecuador 2-0, between those victories they were only able to draw 0-0 against 28th-ranked Paraguay. Such form does not inspire confidence when the odds on them winning this match are less than even-money.

Also concerning is that France will be without one of their most influential players for this match, Patrick Viera, who has a thigh injury.

History is on France’s side, though. These two nations have played nine times, with France winning five, Romania three and one match ending in a draw. Romania’s last win occurred five matches ago in 1972. France have won all three of their most recent matches against Romania, last beating them 2-1 in 2002, and Romania have never beaten France in a competitive match.

Although these facts favour the French, they do not guarantee them victory. Romania were excellent in qualifying and appear to have carried much of that form into this tournament. As the underdogs they also have the advantage of playing without too much pressure because France are expected to win.

With France perhaps not quite at their best, it would be foolish to underestimate Romania.

  • Prediction: Romania 1-1 France

  • Betting verdict The draw holds the most appeal here and is worth a small-to-medium-sized bet.

    Considering how well Romania have been playing, that they are just five places below France in the world rankings and that France have not been convincing in their tournament warm-up matches, it seems absolutely crazy that France are odds-on to win this match.

    Romania may not be good enough to win it themselves but they are certainly good enough to give France a frustrating start to Euro 2008, and the draw is a very appealing bet.

    This article was first published on sports betting news site Sportingweb (www.sportingweb.co.za).

    Please note that odds are correct at time of publication but are subject to change.

    Listen to Sportingweb’s Saturday morning radio show for a betting update on Euro 2008 and all the weekend’s sport. The show starts at 07:30 and runs to 08:00 on 1485AM Radio Today or Channel 169 of the DSTV audio bouquet!

    By Richard Cobham, www.sportingweb.co.za

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