Euro 2012 Quarter-Final France v Spain Odds
Reigning champions Spain look to continue their quest to retain the European Championship when they take on France in their Euro 2012 quarter-final clash at Donbass Arena in Donetsk on Saturday night for a place in the last four against Portugal.
Spain are 12/5 second favourites to retain their European crown with France available at 10/1 to emulate their 2000 triumph. Portugal are 5/1, with Germany installed as 2/1 favourites, while England are 8/1, Italy are 9/1 and Greece are 40/1 outsiders for Euro 2012 glory.
La Roja are 2/5 to advance to the last four with France priced at 7/4 to face Paulo Bento’s charges next Wednesday, also in Donetsk, after star man Cristiano Ronaldo headed Paulo Bentos’ side into the semi-finals following their 1-0 win over the Czech Republic on Thursday.
France have never lost a competitive fixture against the defending world and European champions, drawing once and winning five of their six meetings. Les Bleus eliminated the Spanish side in the second round of 2006 World Cup and, during the playing days of coach Laurent Blanc, France beat Spain in the quarter-finals of Euro 2000 on their way to victory, while the French won Euro 1984 with a 2-0 win over La Roja in the final.
However, Spain have only lost two competitive matches in 38 games since losing to the French in 2006 and La Roja Furia have gone on to lift the Euro trophy in 2008 and two years later claimed the World Cup for the first time in their history in South Africa.
Les Bleus failed to qualify from the Group stage at Euro 2008 and finished last in their Group after a hapless World Cup campaign in 2010. However, under Blanc, France have turned their fortunes around after qualifying in second place from Group D behind England, with a win over Ukraine and a draw with the Three Lions, while the 2-0 defeat against Sweden in the final Group match brought their unbeaten run of 23 games to an end.
Laurent Blanc’s side will miss defender Philippe Mexes at the heart of France’s defence after he picked up a second yellow during the 2-0 loss to Sweden.
They will keep their tactics simple against the best passing side in the world, defending deep in their own half and aim to use the pace of Karim Benzema, Jeremy Menez, Samir Nasri and Franck Ribery on the counter-attack.
Vicente Del Bosque is likely to retain the same side which narrowly won against Croatia, with in-form striker Fernando Torres leading the attack. La Roja will stick to their philosophy and style of pass and move football and have the tacticians in Andres Iniesta and Xavi to create a breakthrough.
They have looked shaky at the back and with the pacey French wingers their rearguard will have their work cut out as Les Bleus will depend on Ribery’s pace and Nasri’s trickery, while Benzema, who has had 17 attempts on goal in the tournament, will hope to open his account at Euro 2012.
France are 4/1 to get the result in 90 minutes Donetsk with Spain priced at 4/5 and the draw is offered at 23/10. Spain to win both halves is 7/4 with France available at 7/1, while the draw in both halves is a 4/1 chance. La Roja are 11/2 to win 1-0, with Les Bleus available at 7/1, while a scoreless draw in 90 minutes pays out at an enticing 8/1.
La Roja’s Torres is 9/2 to score the first goal with Cesc Fabregas next best at 5/1. French front man Benzema is priced at 8/1 along with Spain’s Iniesta, while and Ribery is 11/1 for the feat, with France’s Newcastle stars – Yohan Cabaye at 20/1 and Hatem Ben Arfa at 14/1 to score the opener.
Ladbrokes offer 10/1 for either Spain or France to win on penalties, while Del Bosque’s charges are 8/1 to win in extra time, with Blanc’s Les Bleus available at 14/1.