WE’VE been counting down the days with various antepost and match bets – and today’s the day.
Euro 2016 kicks off with hosts France against Romania and let’s hope we start with a cracker.
Tournament openers often disappoint but the French have so many star turns so hopefully they’ll turn up against a side that’s tough to beat.
France are all the rage to win Euro 2016 on home soil – just as they did when they hosted the World Cup in 1998.
I’ve tipped them to go all the way at 7-2 – now a best 16-5 with Ladbrokes. In 1998 France thumped South Africa 3-0 in their first game and would love to match that scoreline but I’m sure they’d settle for any victory.
Romania conceded just two goals on the road to France and will set themselves up to be hard to beat.
The French are a little short at a best 1-3 with William Hill and Betfred to win with Romania – one defeat in 19 games – as big as 14-1 at betfair and the draw 9-2 with bet365.
So bookies are convinced about the result and giving little away. France’s strengths are in attack so while I’d consider them to win by two or more at 19-20 with Coral a better bet could be over 2.5 match goals at 11-10 with Paddy Power.
Only two of nine opening games since 1980 have gone over 2.5 but France are an overs side and without a couple of key defenders could concede.
They’ve netted 24 in their last 10 and 13 goals in four friendlies this year against Holland Russia, Cameroon and Scotland.
Didier Deschamps has six top-class attackers at his disposal – Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Dmitri Payet, Anthony Martial, Kingsley Coman and Andre-Pierre Gignac.
While Griezmann is the main man up top for Atletico Madrid he plays wider for France with Giroud first choice through the middle.
The Arsenal striker has netted seven times in his last seven appearances for France and is 5-4 at Ladbrokes to score and 4-1 with Coral to break the deadlock.
Griezmann is 6-4 at Coral and for a bigger price consider Paul Pogba at 19-10 with McBookie or Payet at 2-1.
Bets to Consider
Over 2.5 goals
Giroud to score
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