France should follow up slaying Spain with the same against Serbia
French football is on a real high right now. Their national side has kept an impressive dozen clean sheets in the 17 outings (70 per cent) since the start of last season, so they are 31/20 chances with Coral to shut Serbia out and 5/2 to win to nil in Belgrade.
Both of those are odds are more appealing than backing a standard Les Bleus victory at 11/10, because the Euro 2016 hosts have never lost to the former Yugoslav side since Serbia became an independent nation.
Didier Deschamps, a former France captain, has served his country well once again as coach. Of his 30 matches in charge to date, just seven have been defeats and six drawn. That gives him a hugely respectable win percentage in the high mid-50s.
Against Spain, Les Bleus worked hard to ensure star names like Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas did not get shots away in the area. In fact, skipper Hugo Lloris did not need to make a save. This grafting team ethic is a refreshing change from the clashing egos and in-fighting of recent French sides.
Nothing is handed to you in international football, however, and Serbia will be anxious to give new boss Dick Advocaat a winning start. They are 5/2 outsiders to give the Dutch manager just that, while a draw is priced at 9/4.
Make no mistake, Advocaat has talented players at his disposal, but the most reliable of Serbia’s crop play in defensive areas. That said, the attacking exploits of full backs Branislav Ivanovic (6/1) and Aleksandar Kolarov (7/1) are well-documented in the Premier League, and that is reflected in their odds score to anytime.
Serbia skipper Ivanovic has a goal against France on his CV already. Chelsea colleague Nemanja Matic is another name familiar to British audiences, but his good work as an anchorman for his club is carried over to his country.
Further forward, France’s hosts have more mercurial talents that can certainly turn it on if necessary. Southampton summer signing Dusan Tadic fits into a growing tradition of Serbian advanced midfielders and wingers who need to achieve consistency. Odds of 4/1 say he will net in this match.
Les Bleus have a fluid and exciting attack, backed up by a midfield full of dynamism and depth. Chelsea capture Loic Remy grabbed the winner in the Spain game, and is a 6/1 shot to score last again here.
Deschamps may want to run the rule over Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette here with Olivier Giroud out, however, and he is 2/1 to be on target anytime. Former Newcastle United playmaker Yohan Cabaye could also start, and is longer at 5/1 to grab a goal. Punters should back France to keep up their progress against Serbia.