World Cup Odds and Picks: France Vs. Mexico Predictions
by Jordan Adams - 6/15/2010
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A’s second go-round produces a very interesting match-up from two nations that know the World Cup stage all too well. And the collision between the French and Mexican sides at 2:30 p.m. EST, Thursday, June 17 in Polokwane will go a long way to determine which two teams advance out of this quartet.
When comparing this year’s teams from both France and Mexico, quality group play results are not the only thing these two teams have in common. Both have received their fair share of criticism, and rightfully so. Both have come to South Africa with high aims and a desire to prove those wrong that uttered harsh words.
Expect a methodical approach from each squad in this fixture. Both preach defense, first and foremost, and it’s safe to say that both do their fair share of dropping back and keeping their opponents from running wild in the own half of the pitch.
Savvy William Gallas guides France’s back four along with his priceless experience and leadership. World Cups, European Championships and UEFA Champions League. You name the major tournament and he has played in it, and more than once. His skill coupled with top-flight talents like Gael Clichy (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United) and Bacary Sagna (Arsenal) will be a tough group to crack, not to mention the ever-rising star of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who just finished a superb season with France’s Ligue 1 side Lyon. All of this make Mexico’s task of scoring a tall order.
But France’s lack of firepower, or more so their inconsistencies and inabilities to find the best pairing of their attacking players, will give Mexico a good chance to counter defensively.
The French produced a lame duck performance and couldn’t even muster a goal in their 0-0 draw with Uruguay.
Similar to Gallas, Mexico boasts their own version of defensive prowess in Rafael Marquez, who by his playing with FC Barcelona tells you everything you need to know about his talents. His World Cup experience, helping Mexico into the last 16 in both 2002 and 2006, is key.
Mexico earned a deserved draw against hosts in South Africa in their first match. They played the better first half, but in the second 45 minutes they needed a late equalizer to earn the single point.
What France brings to the table on offense with proven commodities, Mexico counters with young, raw players. A specific duo of Carlos Vela and Giovani Do Santos (both just 21) will be key for Mexico to establish their own tempo in attack. Combine these youngsters with more veteran faces like Guillermo Franco and Cuauhtemoc Blanco, and Mexico has a very close replication to France’s team.
Two teams both looking to build on their World Cup pedigree and continue their winning ways into the second round. Don’t be surprised if just one goal wins this very crucial match-up in Group A.
France vs. Mexico World Cup Odds:
Bodog currently has France listed as a small at +120. They list Mexico at +220 and the ‘Draw’ is currently available at +220.
Sports Interaction has France at a similar price at +100 but Mexico is posted as a bigger dog at +240. The ‘Draw’ here is posted at +220.
France vs. Mexico Picks and Predictions:
France wins if: they put together a sound game offensively. That’s a must. It doesn’t have to come in the form of a three- or four-goal explosion, but so much of the talk surrounding this team has been about their inconsistencies to build chances in attack, notably considering how much skill they boast in their starting 11. France is capable of winning despite allowing a goal. But until their attack finds top form the French need a clean sheet from Lloris and the back four as well as a clutch goal from one of their playmakers.
Mexico wins if: they frustrate France by keeping them off balance and out of the net. France is going to have the majority of the position in this match, that’s a given. But if Mexico can just do their best and limit France from a ton of goal-scoring chances and keep the game scoreless until some good counterattacking opportunities pop up, then that type of tempo suits the underdogs. Mexico, too, is best suited for a 1-0 result. If they fall behind, then their game plan is out the window.
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