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France vs. Romania Prediction

France vs. Romania Analysis and Pick to Win
Date: Friday, June 10th
Where: EURO 2016 Group Stage – Group A Game 1 – Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem

Match Odds:France 1/3, Romania 14/1, Draw 22/5
Moneyline: France – 300, Romania +1400, Draw +440
Over/Under Best Market: UNDER 2.0 – 13/9 (+140)

The EURO 2016 is hosted by France and the combination of anticipated home field advantage and a young and robust French squad may have forecasted France in a situation where they are likely to be overvalued. France is the favorite to win the tournament outright and this is the case even with squads like Belgium, Germany and Portugal lurking within the competitive field, all of whom are ranked significantly higher in the FIFA rankings than the French. In fact, Romania is ranked higher than the French in the FIFA rankings as well, yet we are getting them at superfluous odds that do not reflect Romania’s chance of winning this contest against the odds, thus we have an overlay.

The French are reveled because of their last result when they hosted a major world football tournament (World Cup 2002) where the French went off as champions. Despite France boasting extraordinary talents, there have been many troubles with the chemistry of this highly-touted team. The opening match for France a great test against a stingy Romania. Romania has been in excellent form as of late, coming in off a 5-1 rout of Georgia after shrugging off a 4-3 defeat in international friendlies against Ukraine. In route to their Euro 2016 qualification, the Romanians failed to lose a game and these results were fostered against some talented teams, including Spain, Italy and Greece. In addition to fostering results against the aforementioned European powers and up and comers, the Romanians also faced off with two more tournament qualifiers in Hungary and Northern Ireland and once again they left these matches unscathed and produced a plethora of clean sheets to the credit.

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Nevertheless, as hosts France will likely get some favorable calls and they will enjoy the luxury of local support and with respect to the precept this is their opening match, the market reflects a propensity to side with the hosts. However, this is a perilous angle to play as we have seen many hosts struggle mightily over the years in their opening game, regardless of whether all personnel were on the same page or not. France has the likes of Dimitri Payet and Paul Pogba but they also feature the volatility that may make this game harder to win than expected. In 2014, Brazil had to endure a war against Croatia in their opening match for the World Cup and this was a squad that was renowned for their unity and solidarity. France has many forms of dissention in the ranks.

The price alone in this market forces us to jump aboard Romania, as it is certainly not inconceivable for the Romanians to pull off what would be classified as a stunning defeat. Nevertheless, we are getting a team ranked higher in the FIFA rankings at a price of 14:1. How could we justify not biting on this? We highlighted the likely presence of an overlay given the fact Romania will probably beat this team outright at least 20% of the time, yet the market says this can only happen just above 5% of the time. With this being said, we will dive in on Romania by the value in their price alone and the prospect of them stealing a win against a likely overvalued and tumultuous France side. This is a strong chance France may not make it out of their group, they have everything to lose but on the contrary this battle-tested Romania has everything to gain. In the team chemistry and unity department, Romania has the edge which is ironic and sardonic considering the French are the team with all the apparent advantages at their disposal. France may in fact win this game but we would never take that chance and lay the juice. Also with respect of the fact, this is the first game of the EURO, both teams are likely going to play for the win which means a draw is less likely.

Romania Recent Form
W – Georgia 5-1 (Friendly)
L – Ukraine 3-4 (Friendly)
D – Democratic Republic of Congo 1-1 (Friendly)
D - Spain 0-0 (Friendly)
W – Lithuania 1-0 (Friendly)

France Recent Form
W – Scotland 3-0 (Friendly)
W – Cameroon 4-2 (Friendly)
W – Russia 4-2 (Friendly)
W – Netherlands 3-2 (Friendly)
L – England 0-2 (Friendly)

Keith's Prediction for the Game: Romania +1400 (14/1)

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