France has been at the pinnacle of the footballing world for near-on three years now—ever since they won the 2018 World Cup—and they have every reason to believe they can make it back-to-back tournament wins at this summer’s Euro 2020 football championships.
Les Bleus have been a fixture in the major international football tournaments since 1982 when they finished fourth at the World Cup. They won the Euros two years later in 1984, finished third place at the WC in ‘86, third place at the Euros in ‘96, won the WC in ‘98, won the Euros in ‘00, got second place at the WC in ‘06, and second place at the ‘16 Euros before winning the WC in ‘18.
The French have had smooth sailing of late, going undefeated in their World Cup qualifying group and going 8-1-1 in their Euro qualifiers. They won every game they played in the Euro qualifiers except the two in which they were matched up against the Turkish, who beat them 2-0 and drew 1-1 with them. Turkey may be the only team to be heading into the Euros with confidence that if they end up meeting the French in the knockout stages they could take the colossus down.
France also won four and drew one game over the past year during their UEFA Nations League fixtures, so they’ve been in great form heading into this summer’s European Championships.
We could talk about the strengths and weaknesses of this side, but the conversation would be pretty much all about the strengths – there aren’t many holes in this outfit. Starting on the touchline, the French continue with Didier Deschamps, who was hired in 2012 to bring back the glory of Les Bleus from the late 1990s and early 2000s when Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, and Zinedine Zidane were roaming the pitch. He has done just that.
He started by bringing the French to the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup, then lost in the final of the 2016 Euros, then won the 2018 World Cup. That is exactly the kind of progression that any country would love to see when they hire a new head coach.
Now, onto the pitch. Hugo Lloris is no longer in his prime but he remains a decently reliable and extremely experienced keeper and should not be a worry in goal for the French. The back line is probably France’s weakest area, but they’ve still got a ton of talent and experience with elite club guys like Varane, Kimpembe, Pavard, Digne, Zouma, and Mendy back there.
As you move up the pitch, the team gets even stronger. Paul Pogba hasn’t always been great for his club team, but his form has picked up recently, and he has always come to play when he’s wearing his nation’s threads. N’Golo Kante pairs perfectly with Pogba and is one of the best at what he does as well. Tottenham Hotspur players Tanguy Ndombele and Moussa Sissoko fill out a very strong and versatile midfield group for Les Bleus.
At the top, the French have a bevy of attacking options that would have any other nation in the world drooling: Kingsley Coman, Anthony Martial, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, and Ousmane Dembele are some of the main options for Deschamps up top and they’re all elite. But then there’s the best of them all, Kylian Mbappe.
Mbappe’s combination of speed, skill, and calm finishing ability has made him one of the best three players in the world, and he will definitely be a big time performer at Euro 2020. He would be a great bit to win top goalscorer honors at the tournament, and you could say the same about his team as well.
While they have been slotted into the Group of Death with Germany and Portugal, it seems pretty clear that the French are the best of that trio and so will have no trouble emerging from that group. They are offering lovely +130 Euro 2020 odds to win that group on 888sport, currently tied with Germany, which means there is a ton of value on the superior Frenchmen there.
The French also sit tied with the English and the Belgians atop the 888sport odds table with +500 odds to become the Euro 2020 winner, and we believe Mbappe and company certainly offer the most value at that number. The French have seemingly not lost a step since their World Cup triumph, so why not add a win at the Euro 2020 Football Championships?
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team.
He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros.
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