France forwards finally firing at Euros with Griezmann grabbing goals, Payet pulling strings
Holly Thackeray | July 6, 2016
As Euro 2016 reaches the semi-final stage, France look to be the in-form team to reach the finish line first, after they thrashed Iceland 5-2 with their formidable on-paper frontline finally clicking as pundits knew it could.
After a squeaking start, Didier Deschamps’ Bleus boys are firing on all cylinders with a haul of 11 so far from just five frays, and the bulk of that arriving last time out.
So, though there are only four teams now left to scrap for silverware, Coral still have plenty of profitable punts to offer on France’s fierce forwards.
The rout of Iceland, against whom England struggled, certainly boosted a particular pair of players’ hopes of individual glory – namely headline attacking acts Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet.
And, with just three games to go in what has so far been a glorious tournament, the goal-getter and star supplier are surely worth looking at for midweek wagers before prices are propelled sky-high.
Griezmann Goals can fire France to glory
Instrumental Atletico Madrid attacker Griezmann came in for criticism at the beginning of the tournament, with huge expectations on the striker’s shoulders after a season in which the French forward sunk 32 goals in all club competitions.
Four in five games for France in the Euros so far have answered those critics emphatically, with three of those strikes arriving in two of his last inspired outings.
So, with the sharpshooter excelling on this most important of stages on home soil in front of hopeful fans, Griezmann is no gamble at 8/11 with Coral to grab the Euro 2016 Golden Boot.
Being crowned top scorer, to join previous illustrious winners such as Gerd Muller, Marco van Basten, Patrick Kluivert, Dennis Bergkamp and Coral’s own ambassador Alan Shearer, would be a deserved achievement.
The 25-year-old’s transformation from wideman with a nose for goal, to scoring machine as a support sharpshooter is complete. Though, it is unlikely, after he inked a new Atleti deal until 2021 with a mooted eye-watering €100m release clause, that punters will see Griezmann gobbling goals in the Premier League anytime soon.
Giroud just the foil?
Still, it seems Griezmann the goal threat is far from done in France with potentially two more matches in the works to increase his already leading tally. Arguably nobody else on Deschamps’ roster manages to combine such consistency with the refined and varied skillset to match.
Compatriot and strike partner Olivier Giroud has had more of a mixed tournament than his teammate, but stormed to a brace last time out to take his haul to three strikes.
While that is an impressive feat, the frontman went a stretch of three games without a goal, with Burgundy-born Griezmann looking the likelier of the duo to step up when it counts. Customers can still grab Giroud at 11/2, though, to be tournament top scorer.
Atleti instigator Griezmann is alert, electric, with an array of finishes in his locker and full of smart movement. So, it seems that it is instead Giroud acting as the focal point of attention to be smoother operator Griezmann’s foil rather than leading man himself.
The Gunner even turned provider for his partner last time out, and you can watch France’s ice-cold leading forward convert that chance ruthlessly again below:
— Euro Goals and Vines (@Euro2016Goals) July 3, 2016
Payet prince of Paris
Just because Griezmann looks a cert to bag the most goals, however, it does not mean he is the best shout to nab the prestigious title of Euro 2016 Player of the Tournament.
And Coral reckon Payet could well scoop that plaudit as a terrifically priced 10/3 favourite. Evidently not satisfied with forcing his way into Deschamps’ thinking to first be called to the squad and then a starter, it is tough to think of a player who has performed as excitingly across Europe’s top leagues at club level this campaign.
A real surprise for West Ham United, Payet propelled himself back into the French spotlight with nine Premier League goals and 12 assists.
But, the show-stopper has not paused there, pulling the strings sublimely from the off at the Euros with three strikes and two assists in five frays.
Roaming in from the left wing last time out for France, roving forward Payet racked up a goal and assist to push his side to the semis. And punters can revisit his lavish low strike below:
— Beany (@Beanyman62) July 3, 2016
The late bloomer has had bums off seats, and can have a huge say in where the trophy goes due to the myriad of threats he poses.
Payet’s playmaking skills mean he is just as likely to thread a ball through to the frontman or create space with a weaving move, as he is to convert a cracking free-kick, put in a pin-point cross or take a long-distance punt at goal himself. And, it this ability to pose an all-round threat that makes him the best shout to swoop for the Player of the Tournament prize.