England v France | Tuesday 17 November | Wembley Stadium | 22:00
France will keep their commitment to play the English at Wembley despite the horrific events which transpired in the French capital last week. Le Bleu’s players and coaching staff should be commended on the bravery that they have shown in going ahead with this game.
These games are generally heated affairs but with the current climate floating around the sporting world we’re likely to see a much more subdued affair.
To Win Match
The Three Lions looked a rather uninspiring bunch last Friday. They headed to the Spanish province of Alicante with high hopes of causing an upset. They would have been reassessing that goal as early as the twentieth minute in the game though, with Spain bossing the possession stats. It got to the point where the English simply could not get on the ball and the Spainards were playing their own little game of ‘keep the ball away from anyone in a white shirt.’
Where to from here for Hodgson and his charges? I’m honestly not sure. I understand this is a young side and to be fair to them they are missing a whole host of their first team regulars, but if this is the future of English football, the English public may be better served supporting their national cricket side.
Tottenham striker, Harry Kane is yet to make his mark at this level. While many pundits and fans will point to the system as the root-cause of the problem, I personally think that Kane will never be the saviour that the English are hoping for. Look he’s a decent centre-forward but the hype that surrounds him is absurd. He had a good club campaign last year but there are a lot of flaws in his game that need ironing out.
The new golden boy of English football is likely to be partnered by Wayne Rooney upfront after Ross Barkley had a night to forget in Spain. Hodgson could also look to change things up at the back with Cahill likely to come in for the struggling Phil Jones.
The tragedy that occurred in France puts a lot of things in perspective. Football is a game that breaks down divides and brings people together. This has been evident in the footballing world in the wake of Friday night’s events. This is a game that the whole world needs and especially those in France. Regardless of the result the French team have proved their quality as human beings by going ahead with this fixture.
They put in a fantastic display against the Germans on Friday evening, beating the current world champions 2-0. Arsenal frontman, Oliver Giroud bagged the first goal before halftime, while Andre-Pierre Gignac doubled Le Bleu’s tally in the second half.
Giroud is likely to play a key role in this match as well. The Striker offers a pivot for his midfielders to play off. He has been in fantastic goalscoring form for both club and country and I would not be surprised if he gets his name on the score sheet in this one.
Blaise Matuidi and Paul Pogba are fast becoming one of the best midfield pairings in the game. The duo are able to cover a substantial amount of ground during matches and have become the heartbeat of this French side. With England’s inexperienced midfield, you can bet your bottom Dollar that Matuidi and Pogba will be running the show come Tuesday evening.
Verdict: France 7/4
My money is on the French adding another impressive victory to their names by defeating their English rivals at the home of football.