France v Honduras Preview

Group E | Sunday 15 June | Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre | 21:00




France begin their World Cup campaign with their first ever match against Central American nation Honduras, who are due to take part in just their third tournament. The clash will be the first of five games to be played at the Estadio Beira-Rio, which has been renovated to the highest standards for the tournament.

To Win (90mins)
France 7/20
Draw 37/10
Honduras 78/10

FRANCE

Since winning the tournament on home soil 16 years ago, France have been a mixture of the sublime and the simply awful.

They failed to make it out of the group stages in 2002 and 2010, but lost in the final to Italy in 2006.

Les Bleus were horrendous in South Africa, taking just a single point from their three group games amidst rumours of mass fallouts between the players and coach Raymond Domenech.

Laurent Blanc took over the side for Euro 2012, guiding them to the quarter-finals, while his fellow world champion Didier Deschamps is currently in charge and will probably expect to achieve something similar.

France are certainly tipped to qualify from what, on paper, looks like a straight-forward group.

Les Bleus had to stage a remarkable comeback to qualify, overturning a two goal deficit to beat Ukraine 3-2 in the play-offs.

However, they are considered big favourites in this game. Deschamps has shown that he is not afraid to give youth a chance during his time in charge and after fielding a rather inexperienced side in March’s win over the Netherlands, he should continue to put his trust in the likes of Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane.

What can be certain is that Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery will be key to their chances and after disappointing in previous major tournaments, he will be desperate to prove he can cut it on the global stage.

HONDURAS

Honduras finished third in CONCACAF, behind the US and Costa Rica. They go into the tournament as one of the minnows, having only appeared twice before.

However, having drawn extremely tough groups on both those occasions, they may fancy themselves to cause a few upsets this time around.

Colombian Luis Fernando Suarez is currently the man in charge and has previous experience of major competitions, having guided pool rivals Ecuador to the last-16 of the World Cup in 2006.

It looks like it could be an uphill battle for them to get anything out  of this match, but they did beat the United States on the road to Brazil and in Jerry Bengtson and Carlo Costly, they have two of the top scorers in CONCACAF qualifying, scoring 16 goals from 16 matches between them.

Hull City’s Maynor Figueroa is still likely to be the lynchpin in defence. The former Wigan man has been marshalling his country’s rearguard for years, while Wilson Palacios’ expertise will be vital in midfield if his side are to stand a chance of causing an upset.

Betting PredictionFRANCE 7/20
The pair have never faced each other but France undoubtedly have more talent within their ranks. A look at their recent form shows that the Hondurans concede plenty of goals and Les Bleus can make a strong start, it should end up being a comfortable win for Deschamps’ men.

Written by Wayde Dorkin for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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