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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Uruguay VS France >>> Match Previews

Fears for France ahead of Uruguay opener

France do not approach the 2010 finals enjoying the lofty status of world beaters, though. In fact, having infamously required a Thierry Henry handball to edge past Republic of Ireland in a play-off and suffered a defeat in a warm-up game against China's second string, Raymond Domenech's side look ripe for another early exit in Group A. With Lassana Diarra absent due to injury, and Henry exiled to the bench, France are also grappling with an experimental 4-3-3 formation that is open to exploitation.

In contrast, Uruguay - winners in 1930 and 1950, but competing in only their second finals since 1990 - appear high in confidence, with captain Diego Lugano boasting Oscar Tabarez's side are hitting their best form. Whether that is enough to take advantage of France's very evident problems remains to be seen.

Uruguay player in focus: Diego Forlan
Cometh the hour, cometh the man? In recent seasons, Forlan has proved to be the player for the big occasion and in May scored both of Atletico Madrid's goals in the Europa League final. Forlan top-scored for Uruguay in qualification with seven goals and, in his only match of the 2002 World Cup, netted in a 3-3 draw with Senegal. The striker has reached double figures in each of his past six seasons in Spain.

France player in focus: Franck Ribery
The Bayern Munich star missed the Champions League final due to suspension and must be keen to make amends. Ribery was one of the breakthrough stars of the last World Cup but has seen his preparations for the current tournament disrupted by a sex scandal, though he remains a key figure for les Bleus. Raymond Domenech needs Ribery to flourish in an unfamiliar 4-3-3 formation if the country are to enjoy a trouble-free group stage.

Key battle:

Luis Suarez v William Gallas

The Uruguay forward is arguably world football's most in-form player heading into the finals having scored a remarkable 49 goals for Ajax last season. In Gallas, he faces an opponent who has been recovering from injury and has yet to prove he can strike up a productive partnership with Eric Abidal in the heart of Domenech's defence, but the Frenchman's form at Arsenal was impressive in the first half of the season.
Diego Forlan's father, Pablo, was named in the Uruguay squads for both the 1966 and 1974 World Cup finals.

Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan scored 71 goals between them in all competitions last season. France's five forwards - Thierry Henry, Sidney Govou, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Djibril Cisse and Nicolas Anelka - managed just 59.

ZLBT Match Prediction
It would be difficult for ZLBT to pick France as the victor here given their recent difficulties. If there should be a winner we think it will be Uruguay.
Take Uruguay with +1/4 odds & an a victory with Fixed Odds @3.70
Surprising goods odds >>> worth a flutter
Uruguay 2 - 1 France

Odds Center : http://www.asianbookie.com/

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