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Euros preview: Friday’s action including Netherlands vs France

Netherlands vs France


Euros preview: Friday’s action including Netherlands vs France

Euros preview: Friday’s action including Netherlands vs France

Slovakia vs Ukraine

Slovakia beat Belgium 1-0 in their opening game; Ukraine were turned over 3-0 by Romania for their first match of the tournament. Can Serhiy Rebrov’s Ukraine land that all-important win on matchday two, or will the Francesco Calzona’s side prove superior?

There was an element of fortune in Slovakia’s opening win; Belgium were expected to win, and Romelu Lukaku found the net twice – only for both efforts to be disallowed.

Slovakia have never won two games in a single major tournament before, and could conquer new territory with a victorious performance at the Dusseldorf Arena. That said, even a draw is likely enough to see the Slovaks progress to the last 16.

But this current Slovakia are looking like a team that can get it done, having won 10 of their last 14 games in all competitions. It could be worth taking a chance on Slovakia to land another win here at 47/20.

Poland vs Austria

Both these sides started with defeats – so will either Poland or Austria be able to pick up victory at Berlin’s Olympiastadion in Friday’s early evening kick-off?

In a boost for the Poles, it looks as though Robert Lewandowski will be fit to return for this encounter. Nevertheless, although Austria lost to France, Ralf Rangnick’s side kept things respectable at one of the most well fancied teams in the tournament; they could well outshine Poland here.

Austria are unbeaten in 15 of their last 17 matches, with just Belgium and France beating them in that run. They won 12 of those matches, seeing off Germany 2-0 in November of last year, and following that up with a 6-1 drubbing of Turkey.

And even with Lewandowski, Poland may not excel; the Barca man has failed to score in his last four appearances for his country.

Back Austria to win at 11/10.

Netherlands vs France

Ronald Koeman’s Netherlands edged to victory over Poland at the start of the group stage. But they face a tougher task to see off the highly rated France – even if Les Bleus are without Kylian Mbappe for this match (possibly, at least – the forward is apparently still eager to play, wearing a protective mask over his broken nose).

The France squad is stacked, even without their star man; but even if you don’t place too much weight on Mbappe’s potential absence, France have occasionally slipped up recently (defeat to Germany in March, a goalless draw with Canada just before the Euros), with manager Didier Deschamps’ style not too dissimilar from Gareth Southgate’s – if more successful.

Perhaps its optimistic to think the Dutch can take advantage of any supposed chink in France’s formidable armour. Backing France to win at 6/5 is probably the smart bet; Olivier Giroud, France’s leading scorer, is 5/2 to find the net, which is worth a look assuming he starts. Meanwhile, Antoine Griezmann is 4/1 to provide an assist, which looks another decent possibility.

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