FRIENDLIES can never be relied on but I’m pretty sure Scotland will crash to defeat in Metz tonight.

Gordon Strachan chose two tough fixtures and I understand why but a weakened side could be embarrassed by the hosts with the most.

The French are slight favourites to win Euro 2016 on their home patch and will be determined for a winning send-off in front of a sellout crowd.

Scotland were dire against Italy and were only spared a 1-0 defeat because their opponents were happy with that scoreline.

We must do better but it will be even tougher against a stronger team – one that loves scoring just as much as the Italians hate conceding.

France are no bigger than 1-3 with William Hill so to back them you need to go down the handicap route or look at goals bets.

I like Paddy Power’s 10-11 on France minus one while minus two pays 13-5 with the same firm.

Didier Deschamps' men have won their last six home matches scoring
16 goals so you have to imagine they have a decent chance of grabbing at least three here and that pays 11-8 at bet365.

Scotland had one shot on target against Italy so it would be a surprise if they netted. If you believe back them at 23-20 with boylesports to score or go for both teams to score at 5-3 with 888sport.

I’d prefer to back a France clean sheet at 5-8 with BetBright and I’m looking at France to be leading after 30 minutes at 13-10 with William Hill.

Deschamps likes to start Olivier Giroud up front with Antoine Griezmann wide but check the starting line-up before having a punt on a first scorer.

West Ham star Dimitri Payet is one to consider if he gets the nod. He came off the bench in midweek to fire home a stunning injury-time free-kick winner against Cameroon.

The Scots players will be aware of Payet’s deadball process and he was compared to Zinedine Zidane by the French media after his latest worldie. Payet is 7-1 at Coral to net first and 2-1 to score at any time.

Griezmann, whose missed penalty in the Champions League Final cost me, is 4-1 with William Hill to score first and 7-5 with BetBright to net and Giroud is 4-1 at Paddy Power and 6-5 at Coral respectively.

Others to consider, depending on the line-up, are Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Kingsley Coman and Yohan Cabaye.

In fact nine French stars are more favoured to strike the opener than the shortest-priced Scot who is Steven Fletcher at 16-1 with bet365.

Recommended Bets

France -1

(10-11, Paddy Power)

France to be leading after 30 mins

(13-10, William Hill)


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