Why You Should Bet on France to Win EURO 2016
France have emerged from their EURO 2016 semifinal match with Germany with a rousing 2-0 win on Thursday, and now they prepare to face Portugal in the tournament final on Sunday in Stade de France. The biggest reason why the French have made it this far is Antoine Griezmann, who tallied both of these goals to give him six for the tournament — twice as many as anyone else. Yes, Portugal advanced to the final with a 2-0 win over their own, but the fact that France knocked off the defending World Cup champions, while Portugal knocked off a Cinderella team that has not been in any international soccer tournament since 1958, means that you should give France a serious look when you’re picking your winner. Let’s take a look at some reasons why you should put your soccer betting money on France to win this final.
Here’s Why We Think You Should Bet on France to Win EURO 2016
— Equipe de France (@equipedefrance) July 7, 2016
It’s hard to underestimate home field advantage — when you’re elite.
I know what you’re thinking. The U.S. got to play host to Brazil in the round of 16 of the 1994 World Cup, played on American soil. The date of that game was on July 4, no less, the holiday when Americans celebrate their national independence. That didn’t keep Brazil from prevailing, of course. But the U.S. isn’t an elite soccer nation. France is, and they showed that they can win major tournaments that they host (EURO 1984, the 1998 World Cup).
1958 isn’t just an historic date for the Welsh side.
France had not defeated Germany in a tournament game in 58 years. They had won the occasional friendly against Die Mannschaft, but they had always fallen in the tournaments. This was a major shift and will give the French side a ton of confidence going into a match against a Portuguese side that did not win any games in the regulation 90 minutes until that semifinal.
What about Antoine Griezmann?
The first goal that Griezmann scored was on a penalty taken when Bastian Schweinsteiger inexplicably threw his arms forward to defend on a cross and ended up with a handball in the penalty area. He took the booking and the team took the penalty. But the second goal was all about being in the right place at the right time. The Germans made a bad pass in their own penalty area, but the German goalie punched the ball out…right at Griezmann’s feet, and he slid it right past Manuel Neuer for the insurance tally. He has filled empty space and been at the right place to score goals this whole tournament. He even had a chance for a hat trick in the 86th minute but drilled his shot right at Neuer.
“Huge Hugo Lloris”
Lloris made two epic saves in this match, a clever parry of Emre Can’s bouncer in the first half and then a gymnastic miracle on a German header as the second half was winding down. Having a goalie who can bail you out of sure disaster gives the front 10 men a lot more optimism and confidence as they play the ball. If these factors all play for France, they will be hoisting yet another trophy in their national stadium.