Euro 2016 betting: Hosts France to win shot at Portugal for title

Updated: July 7, 2016


Today’s featured Euro 2016 semi-final betting preview: Germany v France; Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France; Friday, July 9, 5am



Germany v France means that it’s been a busy week in the media for former national team defender Patrick Battiston, recalling his role in the greatest match-up between these storied rivals. It was the 1982 World Cup when, with the score at 1-1, Battiston was through on goal with only Germany’s keeper Harald Schumacher to beat. Schumacher left his line, hoping he would reach the ball before Battiston. He didn’t, yet he never broke stride. Schumacher crashed with full force into his opponent leaving him heavily concussed with three cracked ribs, two missing teeth and a damaged vertebra.

Dutch referee Charles Corver didn’t even whistle for a foul, let alone penalise the goalkeeper. To add insult to serious injury, Schumacher went on to save two penalties in the shootout that Germany subsequently won – the first time penalties had decided a result in a World Cup finals. There’ve been several other memorable clashes between these nations, but it’s Battiston who stands as a reminder of why no quarter is given when France meets Germany as the hosts aim for a first major tournament victory over their rivals since 1958.



Coincidentally, Germany emerged victorious after another shootout in their quarter-final win over Italy on Saturday. However, relations between the footballing nations have never been closer as it was Germany that was opposing France in a friendly last November on the night of the Paris terrorist attacks. France’s players were praised by the acting president of the German football federation, Reinhard Rauball, for “an outstanding act of camaraderie” in remaining with their opponents throughout the night as they slept on mattresses inside the stadium. For the record, France won that game 2-0.

Germany have lost just one of their last 18 games at major tournaments (a 2-1 defeat by Italy at Euro 2012) as they aim to end a 20-year drought in this tournament. They are without suspended defender Mats Hummels and the injured pair of Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez. Bastian Schweinsteiger hurt his knee against Italy but returned to training on Wednesday and will start against France, coach Joachim Low said. Mesut Ozil (pictured above) is the only player to have started all 24 of Germany’s games since (and including) the 2010 World Cup. He’s the top assist provider in the last four major tournaments with eight.



L’Equipe described France’s performance against Iceland as “Presque Parfait” (Almost Perfect). At times they were electric and their forwards are having their own personal competition to see who can win the golden boot. It has left Germany boss Joachim Low worried: “Italy were a team with automated plays. They are world class in playing them but they are predictable,” he said. “France are different. They constantly change positions, they are much more unexpected and difficult to predict,” he added. France coach Didier Deschamps has to decide whether to continue with Samuel Umtiti in defence or recall Adil Rami, who has completed a one-game ban.

Midfielder N’Golo Kante also returns after serving a suspension. Deschamps has a fully-fit squad to choose from, with all 23 players training on Wednesday. France return to the semi-finals of a major tournament for the first time since the 2006 World Cup. They have actually progressed to the final on the last three occasions where they have made the last four. They are unbeaten in their past 17 major tournament games played on home soil, winning 15 and drawing two. France are the top scorers at Euro 2016 with 11 goals in five games.



Confirmed betting (card finalised)

Germany v France – France to qualify (one unit @ $1.88) – the hosts have played stylish football in their past game-and-a-half, trouncing Iceland 5-2 in the last eight after coming from behind to beat the Republic of Ireland in the last 16. Deschamps has found a winning formula in his 4-2-3-1 shape, which should steer them into Sunday’s final against Portugal.


Most recent result: 0-1, -2.0 units; overall finals record: 22-13, +22.37 units; qualifying record: 34-10-26, +13.40 units

Portugal v Wales DNB (1.5 units @ $2.60); correct score 1-1 (0.5 units @ $6.50) LOSE (2-0)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Bet365 (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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