Pick Over 2.5 for France vs. Spain International Friendly

Kevin Stott

Monday, September 1, 2014 5:45 PM GMT

Monday, Sep. 1, 2014 5:45 PM GMT

This handicapping article & soccer pick focuses on the international friendly between European soccer powerhouses France & Spain as part of their preparation for the coming Euro 2016 qualifications. 

Les Bleus and head coach Didier Deschamps will have the advantage of being the host here and have a somewhat more consistent squad now than does La Furia Roja and Vicente del Bosque— who left Juan Mata, Fernando Torres and Pepe Reina, among others off his roster—and have made France slight favorites on soccer odds (+130, BetVictor) over Spain (+200, 2/1) in this very meaningless match in the grand scheme of things. The Draw is priced at +225.

 

Les Bleus Equipped on Defense and Offense
Always a solid team in any international competition, France usually plays low-scoring, defensive games and tries to minimize mistakes. Deschamps’ France squad now is a fun one to watch with the emergence of Paul Pogba (Juventus) and a cast of capable midfielders and strikers on the French attack like Karim Benzema (71 caps, 24 goals), Antoine Griezmann, Blaise Matuidi (28 caps, 4 goals) and new Chelsea-signee Loïc Rémy.

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (62 caps) and veterans Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Juventus, 62 caps) and Bacary Sagna (Manchester City, 42 caps) hold down the defense but going up against this fairly new-looking and younger Spanish national squad will be no easy task for this defense, or any other in the coming Euro qualifiers.

 

La Furia Roja Beginning Youth Movement
Always a formidable opponent, Del Bosque selected uncapped players like Paco Alcácer, Dani Carvajal, Raúl García, Kiko Casilla and Mikel San José for this roster. “This is a squad for the present but designed to look towards the future,” the 63-year-old said of his team which will also include talented recalls Isco (Real Madrid), Marc Bartra and Ander Iturraspe and goalkeepers Iker Casillas (Real Madrid) and David De Gea (Manchester United).

Where La Furia Roja should thrive is on the attack and with new-Chelsea scoring machine Diego Costa, David Silva (Manchester City), Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona), Koke (Atlético Madrid), Pedro (Barcelona), Raúl García (Atlético Madrid), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal) and Cesc Fábregas (Chelsea), creating and scoring goals in the Euro 2016 qualifying should be no problem for this team. Spain opens up play against Macedonia on September 8.

 

How to Play The Anytime Goalscorer Prop
With so many talented players to chose from, it’s hard to pin down whom both managers will be starting in a friendly like this, especially with all involved in league play on their various teams over this past weekend. For me, both this marketplace and the First Goalscorer one have very little value here, as the question of who plays and how much combined with the reality that this a match that neither team really cares if it wins makes a bet truly a gamble. Costa (+162, Betbright) would be a very logical choice with the hot streak he is on with the Blues, but the price seems a little bit low for specific situation.

Benzema (+187), Rémy (+220), Pogba (+280), Fábregas (+300), Isco (+350) and Matuidi (+400) are all good choices for Anytime Goalscorers, but this friendly really is a tough handicap on too many levels. The No Goalscorer odds in this one are +797.

One player to look for some late odds on is France’s 23-year-old forward Alexandre Lacazette who was called up to replace the injured Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) while one player who usually is a good choice in this category—Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich)—recently announced his retirement from international football which is a fairly significant loss for this French team.

 

What’s the Best Approach If There Even Is One Here?
Many people intending to place soccer picks should keep in mind that impressions of a tight and low-scoring game here in Paris are logical, but, despite the strong defenses and experienced goalkeepers, the fact that this is such a loose and meaningless game, the Total Goals Over 2½ (-106, Betbright) seems like the best approach and even the Both Teams To Score proposition  (-137, Betbright) is worth consideration. But, the reality here is that this is just a friendly and that both managers will be using this game as a tune-up and a way to simply check out players while trying not to get anyone hurt.

Prediction: France 1 Spain 2

Free Soccer Pick: Over 2½ -129 (Betbright)

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