Spain v France Betting Tip Spain – 23rd June 2012

Iniesta (Spain)
Iniesta (Spain) © GEPA pictures

Spain v France

It was a nervy night for Spanish supporters (myself included) against Croatia on Monday as they could never manage to get a hold of the game until late on. Croatia missed two guilt edged opportunities when the game was goalless and were made to pay as the current holders scored late on to book their place in the last eight. It was more of the same for the Spanish in terms of being unable to penetrate a packed defence for much of the 90 minutes. Their opening match against Italy was very similar in terms of Spain having a lot of the ball but not getting beyond their opponents in order to create chances. Fernando Torres was subbed just after half time in favour of Jesus Navas who provided much needed width. However, even with his inclusion there was still a glaring lack of bodies inside the penalty area to benefit from his crosses. It’s something that everyone outside the Spanish camp feels needs addressed but Vincent Del Bosque seems reluctant to change much at all.

France were diabolical against Sweden in their final group game going down 2-0 against a side who had already been eliminated. Supporters will be hoping it was a case of too bad to be true but I wouldn’t be so confident in them being able to turn it around in such a short space of time. Players look disinterested for much of the game and there were clear signs of infighting amongst several of the squad. It was reminiscent of their World Cup performance where there was a strike amongst senior players during the tournament. Everyone put that down to the unhappiness that had grown amongst the squad under the rein of Raymond Domenech but a lot of those players are present once again – under new management. Laurent Blanc was quick to downplay reports that arguments continued afterwards but he must be concerned following that display.

Spain may well turn to Cesc Fabregas to reprise his ‘false nine’ role as he helped create the winner against Croatia after coming on for Torres. Despite not playing well for much of the match the World Champions produced a piece of brilliance with the only goal of the game and it was further evidence that they remain very dangerous should anyone think about writing them off.

France surely can’t play as bad again, can they?! Well, anything is possible with this French side. It is dangerous to write them off but they really need to get their act together if they want to trouble Spain. They will likely revert back to a more conservative 4-5-1 and hope Ribery and Nasri can support Benzema but the link between midfield and attack has been poor thus far.

I advised backing both France and Spain from the outset in the hope they avoided each other till the final, which they would have done if France had won on Tuesday. It wasn’t to be but it does mean we will have a representative in the final. With that in mind, I am opting for a straight win bet and fancy Spain to progress.

Spain 3pts, 20/23 @ BetVictor

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