Host nation Russia head into this summers World Cup amid a cloud of controversy, but it’s their performances on the pitch that will be worrying Stanislas Cherchesov the most.
They have only managed to win one of their final warm up friendlies before the official World Cup squad announcement. Their last outing was against Brazil and they will still feel disappointed with the result, they put in a meagre performance to lose 3-0 against their Neymar-less visitors, and now they face a similarly tough task when France come to St Petersburg.
To be fair to Russia, they have packed their last few friendlies with very good opposition. They lost 1-0 against Argentina and then drew with Spain in November, but prior to that drew at home to Iran. This makes it four games without a win for them, and they have only won two of their last eight. One of these was against Dinamo Moscow in a hybrid friendly too, so it’s not looking promising for them coming into the summer.
France didn’t perform to their best on Friday either. They looked completely in control as they scored two goals inside the first half an hour against Colombia, but Luis Muriel quickly pulled one back before a second half double saw France lose 3-2.
This follows on from their 2-2 draw in Germany back in November, and whilst that was their first loss in seven games, the question marks about their chances in Russia hang over their heads. Given the quality in their squad they should be feeling confident, but their performance on Friday was less than impressive.
Paul Pogba and Ousmane Dembele were resigned to cameos from the bench on Friday and will be expecting to start against Russia, and with the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Lemar, and Kylian Mbappe also in the squad, their attacking lineup is better than most of the world.
Unfortunately for them their defence hasn’t lived up to the billing recently, and this has resulted in some high scoring matches. Seven of their last ten games have seen at least three goals, and with Russia seeing nine goals in their last two matches we could be in for another thriller. Five of the hosts’ last seven games have been high scoring affairs too, so these odds for Over 2.5 Goals look very good value, and that’s what we’re backing along with a 3-1 win for the visitors.
Head To Head
France have won three, drawn one, and lost two of their six previous meetings with Russia.
Russia vs France Stats
- 71% of Russia’s last seven matches have seen at least three goals scored.
- The hosts have seen nine goals in their last two goals, conceding six times in that period.
- 70% of France’s last ten matches have seen three or more goals scored, including nine in their last two.