The Nations League comes back into sharp focus this week and France will be looking to restore a bit of pride when they host Austria on Thursday evening.
By all accounts, it has been a sorry campaign for Les Bleus who find themselves two points adrift at the bottom of Group A1 and Didier Deschamps’ men are on the precipice of relegation.
Deschamps has rung the changes to his squad with Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud recalled, but they will be bereft of talisman Karim Benzema who will sit out the game through injury.
Austria, meanwhile, are still in the picture to book a place in the Finals next summer providing they win and Denmark were to lose.
The permutations are fascinating and we could be in for a cracker at the Stade de France. Ahead of kick-off, we have handpicked a couple of tips for you to cast your eye over.
France to pinch it late on
As mentioned, France has been rather disjointed and they have mustered just three goals in their four Nations League games to date, however, what is more surprising, is that they are winless.
Indeed, before this Nations League campaign, France had only tasted defeat once in the competition, so it is astounding to see them struggle in the way they have done this time around.
When France last faced Austria, Deschamps’ charges trailed 1-0 before a late Kylian Mbappe effort salvaged a draw for the visitors.
Austria are well organised and they could be tough to break down. However, France won’t want to bow out without a whimper, and they could well claim their first victory in their group. I think France could secure three points, but they may have to do it the hard way.
If you like the ‘Come from Behind’ section, then Coral is offering a tasty-looking price of 8/1 for France to win after going a goal down.
Austria penalty woes
Ralf Rangnick’s men still retain hopes, if not rather slim ones, of topping the group. Arguably, their 3-0 win over Croatia on Matchday 1 proved to be something of a false dawn.
However, as we have seen, it would be amiss to discount Austria who can be rather tricky opponents. Andreas Weimann and Marko Arnautovic have gelled well together and they can give teams a headache.
Against France, Weimann and Arnautovic will look to run the back line ragged, and either one of them could draw a penalty. If you like a good special, then you can get rather eye-catching odds of 18/1 with Paddy Power for Austria to be awarded a spot kick but then fluff their lines which could be worth following up on.
* Betting odds correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.