Romania vs. France
World Cup Qualifying
Saturday September 5, 2009 5 PM ET
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
In a big World Cup Qualifying match in Europe, France hosts Romania at Stade de France in Paris. This is a big match for both teams, as if France wins they can be pretty much assured of a spot in South Africa while if Romania loses, their World Cup hopes will be dashed. Currently France is in 2nd place in Group 7 with 13 points and Romania is in 5th place with only 7 points.
These two teams played to a draw in Romania and while Romania has struggled from the get-go, France has played better after a horrible start to their 2010 World Cup campaign. The French fans are not happy with their team, but if they win this game the fans will change their tone as France should qualify for the World Cup. After this match France only has 3 more qualifying games and they need to run the table to catch Serbia, who leads them by 5 points in the group. However, next week Serbia hosts France in another huge match.
The Romanians have their work cut out for them to qualify for the World Cup, as this is a must-win game for them. They have been unspectacular in group play and they even lost 3-0 to Lithuania and that match was at home no less. However, Romania has won their last 2 matches and they look to be in fine form, but beating France in France will be no easy task. New Romanian head coach Razvan Lucescu has his team ready to go, but unless they can beat France tomorrow they will be watching the World Cup from the boobtube, not participating in it.
France is the big home favorite in this match posted at 1.5 while Romania is the away underdog posted at 6.80 with a draw at 3.55. U.S.A. clients can find the best odds on this match at 5Dimes.
France Recent Form:
8/12/2009 Faroe Islands 0 France 1 (World Cup Qualifier)
6/5/2009 France 1 Turkey 0 (Friendly)
6/2/2009 France 0 Nigeria 1 (Friendly)
4/1/2009 France 1 Lithuania 0 (World Cup Qualifier)
3/28/2009 Lithuania 0 France 1 (World Cup Qualifier)
Romania Recent Form:
8/12/2009 Hungary 0 Romania 1 (Friendly)
6/12/2009 Lithuania 0 Romania 1 (World Cup Qualifier)
4/1/2009 Austria 2 Romania 1 (World Cup Qualifier)
3/28/2009 Romania 3 Serbia 2 (World Cup Qualifier)
2/11/2009 Romania 1 Croatia 2 (Friendly)
French GK Hugo Lloris is banged up, but he will play in this match. The French may be a bit short handed, as Samir Nasri, Jimmy Briand and Sidney Govou have just returned to training with Lyon.
Mutu will not play in this match for Romania and that will hurt, as he is THE main offensive weapon for the team. They are also without the services of the experienced GK Bogdan Lobont of AS Roma.
Forwards Thierry Henry, Yoann Gourcuff and Franck Ribery are healthy and they need to find the back of the net, which they have not been able to do much of lately for France.
In the past 5 matches France has only scored 4 goals and in that stretch they have not scored more than one goal once and that includes facing a weak Faroe Islands team, which they only beat 1-0.
It is surprising that French head coach Raymond Domenech still has his job, but if France is to lose this match, he may be gone.
Yoann Gourcuff is a rising star in France, but he needs to start scoring for his home side.
Franck Ribery is the big gun for France and he will have to lead the home team and be creative around the goal. He scored both the game winning goals in the home and away series against Lithuania. You can bet the Romanian defense will have him marked all match.
Romanian defender Razvan Rat is the anchor of the defense and he will have to have a good match and not allow the French to pressure the goal. Rat is great at pressing the attack when given the chance, so France has to be wary of a quick counter-attack.
Romania can’t simply stay back on defense in this match, as they need to win. Because of this France should have many opportunities to score.
Jason’s Pick: It seems as France just does enough to get by, as that can be seen by their last few wins, which the last 4 have come by a score of 1-0. I see them doing that again, as they have too many weapons on offense and the Romanians simply do not have much offensive firepower. I see France winning by a score of 1-0 or 2-0.