International Friendlies can often be a punters worst enemy as they are sometimes used by managers to test experimental line ups and new players. There are usually a host of substitutions, and it’s questionable how much the players put into these games when they are in the thick of the season with their respective clubs. However, with Euro 2016 just days away, there is much less room for experiment and managers tend to focus on their preferred starting line ups, while players are only concerned with pushing their way into the starting eleven.
With the summer tournament at the forefront of the mind we can expect a much more competitive edge to these friendlies, and that makes betting much more predictable. France have played two years of friendlies as they prepare to host the competition, and they face Cameroon on Monday before taking on Scotland next week. Germany and Spain are also in action with both playing on Sunday afternoon; Germany against Slovakia, and Spain against Bosnia & Herzegovina.
There is a case for backing all three at short odds, as all are expected to register comfortable victories against inferior opposition. It may not be a jackpot bet, but it’s a great opportunity to boost the coffers in advance of the real thing in just two week’s time.
France v Cameroon
France are a best price of -385 with Marathonbet, but they should have little trouble disposing of a Cameroon side which is some way short of the quality teams they have possessed in previous years.
Cameroon qualified for the 2014 World Cup but left in disgrace amid contract disputes after losing all three games – 1-0 to Mexico, 4-0 to Croatia, and 4-1 to Brazil. Since then there have been all sorts of political rumblings among the Cameroon FA, and since then they’ve been not much more than workmanlike and mediocre. They’ve played almost exclusively in Africa and haven’t faced a side of any real quality in any of their friendlies. They did top their qualifying group for next year’s African Nations, but have just two wins in the last nine games after a host of draws.
They face a France team that is one of the favourites for Euro 2016, and is a cut above any side they have played over the last two years. The French have an embarrassment of riches at their disposal with the likes of Pogba and Greizmann expected to make their mark at this year’s Championships. They’re on a run of seven wins in eight matches, with only the 2-0 defeat by England in the aftermath of the Paris attacks blotting the copybook. They’ve beaten Russia, Netherlands, Germany and Portugal in that sequence too, so it’s clear they are playing at a high level. This should be a routine home victory, and it’s worth backing despite the thin odds.
Germany v Slovakia
A similar case can be made for Germany to beat Slovakia at -313 with Marathonbet
It may come as a surprise to note that Germany have lost three of their last five internationals, but it would be no surprise to see the World Champions turn it on when it matters. We’re close enough to the tournament to expect a serious performance, and there should be none of the complacency on show that led to this side allowing England to come back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in that recent friendly. It may have even served as a wake up call to the German team, as they produced a positive reaction in their following friendly by thumping Italy 4-1.
Slovakia qualified for the Euro’s alongside Spain from their group, and will line up with England and Wales in group B at the tournament. They’ve conveniently side-stepped any top level sides in their friendlies since qualification though, and this will be a much sterner test of their credentials. Friendly draws with Latvia and Ireland in the last two are nothing to shout about, and Germany will expect to give their fans two victories from this and next week’s home international against Hungary before they depart for the tournament.
Spain v Bosnia & Herzegovina
After the disastrous World Cup it took Spain a while to recover, but seven wins and two draws in the last nine internationals suggests they are back to their best. They’ve conceded just a single goal in the last eight games – away in Italy in a 1-1 draw – and if they can leave the likes of Costa, Mata and Santi Carzola out of the squad there is clearly great strength in depth. They will have one more friendly against Georgia before the tournament, and with both games on home soil they will expect to give their fans plenty to shout about.
Bosnia & Herzegovina made it to the Euro 2016 play off games but were knocked out by Ireland over two legs. They are by no means a poor side and have a smattering of quality throughout the squad, but up against one of the best teams in the world they are sure to struggle. Spain’s capacity to keep clean sheets should not be underestimated and they have more than enough class to manufacture at least one goal against any team.
France to beat Cameroon
Monday 30th May, 20:00
Germany to beat Slovakia
Sunday 29th May, 16:45 GMT
Spain to beat Bosnia & Herzegovina
Sunday 29th May, 17:00 GMT