Euro 2012: France v Romania Team News
This is a fixture with a familiar feel to it, the two sides having met twice in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying and once in Group C at the EURO 2008 finals.
All three games were drawn, the most dramatic the September 2009 showdown in the Stade de France which ended 1-1 when Julien Escudé put through his own net for Romania’s equaliser.
Online bookmakers are giving away free bets to new customers and cash back specials for Saturday’s Euro 2012 group D qualifier between France and Romania at the Stade de France.
In the meantime France have replaced their coach, appointing Laurent Blanc whose new look side recovered from an opening defeat at home to Belarus with a win in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Blanc has brought in uncapped striker Dimitri Payet from AS Saint-Etienne and brought back Arsenal’s Samir Nasri and Lyon’s Yoann Gourcuff.
Nasri’s Arsenal team-mates Bacary Sagna and Abou Diaby will not be joining him as Sagna misses out with a thigh problem and Diaby is recovering from an ankle knock.
Blanc has called up another Lyon midfielder in Anthony Réveillère to provide further cover in the middle of the park.
There is a new air of hope in the French camp as Blanc tries to bury the painful memories of South Africa and World Cup 2010.
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is back in the fold after being overlooked for the World Cup and has quickly made his mark when grabbing the winner against Bosnia and Hezegovina.
Victor Chandler is offering odds of 5/1 for Benzema to break the deadlock and score the first goal of the game.
Romania have opened with draws against Albania and Belarus, with coach Razvan Lucescu developing a tight defensive unit.
Given the sides records and Lucescu’s tactics another stalemate could be on the cards and online bookmaker Unibet offer the best odds as they bet 14/5 for the draw.
Lucescu has recalled some of the old guard with call ups for FC Timi?oara’s Ianis Zicu and ?tefan Radu of Serie A leaders Lazio who have been out of the international scene for three and two-years respectively.
Steaua Bucharest’s central midfielder Iulian Apostol also returns for the first time since scoring the opening goal in the 3-1 win over Faroe Islands in October 2009.