France can edge out Sweden in Friday's clash at the Stade de France.
France v Sweden – Friday 19:45, Sky Sports 3
France must still be wondering how they’re not the European Champions, having made the final in their home tournament with their strongest squad for years. Many of the faces that lost out to Portugal remain for Didier Deschamp and after beating their toughest opponents, the Netherlands, last time out in their own back yard they have an opportunity to dominate Group A.
Victory over Sweden would certainly put them in a great position to top the group as the Swedes are the only other side in the group to remain unbeaten thus far, level with France on seven points. The Swedes held the Netherlands and beat Bulgaria at home, while on the road they won in Luxembourg. That was their fourth away win in their last 13, though they’ve all come against minnows. Indeed, they’ve not won any of their last 12 against sides we have ranked higher than them, losing nine of these, though they proved competitive as seven of these defeats were by just a one goal margin.
France, meanwhile, have won 12 of 14 unbeaten home matches, though did of course go on to lose in extra-time against Portugal. Much like the Portuguese, this Swedish side can be stubborn visitors – even more so in a post-Zlatan world – and none of their last 10 defeats on the road dating back to 2011 were by more than one goal, despite playing the likes of England, Italy and France themselves in this time. With that in mind, we’re backing France to win by one goal against an organised Swedish defence that has conceded no more than one goal in their last nine.