England suffered their first defeat since the World Cup against an impressive Spanish side a few days ago and Roy Hodgson hasn’t been helped by a growing injury list for this pair of fixtures that means he now has at least 15 players that are in contention to make the final squad for the Euros unavailable. A full strength French side, with the exception of the injured Benzema, were 2-0 winners over a slightly makeshift German outfit as they looked to justify their co-favouritism along with the World Champions for their home tournament in the summer.
England’s record in home friendlies since 2008 is an impressive W15-D3-L3, with those defeats coming against Germany, Chile, and France themselves. Since 2011, these games have tended to be fairly tight affairs, with nine of 12 matches seeing fewer than three strikes and half having fewer than two. We currently have England ranked as the 14th best side in the world with France up in 7th and England’s record in home friendlies against sides ranked higher than them since 2007 is W2-D1-L3 – losing the last two of these games against Germany and Chile while failing to score in both matches. Four of these six games had fewer than three goals, with the other two both seeing exactly three strikes.
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With this edition of the Euros being hosted in France, Didier Deschamps’s side has been restricted to friendlies since the World Cup and they’ve been in good form, winning their last five including away at Portugal before that home win over Germany. In away friendlies since 2013 their record is a modest W3-D1-L3 with defeats against Albania, Brazil, and Uruguay. However, France haven’t lost against England since 1992 (W4-D3-L0 since) and are an improving outfit (something we can’t say about England).
England have been priced up as marginal favourites in most places for this game but their growing injury list is a concern and since the side that lost to Spain was as strong as Hodgson could pick, it is unlikely that Kane, Barkley, and Sterling will all start and complete the full 90 minutes. England have lost their last two home friendlies against sides ranked higher than them and played sides much stronger than they are likely to put out for this fixture and for that reason we’re siding with the French who come into this game in strong form.
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