This is one of the biggest fixtures from the next round of World Cup 2018 fixtures in midweek. We should have a tense and thrilling night at the Stade de France on Thursday. France are level on 13 points after six games in Group A with leaders Sweden, just trailing them on goal difference. As for the Netherlands, they are three points back of the duo which means that this is a game which they can ill afford to lose. But after an away defeat already in the group to Bulgaria, their qualification hopes for Russia 2018 would be damaged further if they were to lose this one. It is going to be a bit of a test of mettle for both of them because France will recognise the huge opportunity to take a step towards next summer’s World Cup with a win. France are 8/13 odds on to take the win, with the Netherlands a pretty distant 9/2 shot.
France have posted a W4 D1 L1 record in the group so far. Their dropped points came in a disappointing 0-0 draw with Belarus in their opening qualification match, and a defeat in Sweden when it looked as if they had done enough for a solid draw until Ola Toivonen netted in the 94th minute for the Swedes. So France have to put up a response to that and so far on home soil in Group A they have beaten Sweden 2-1 and have taken out Bulgaria 4-1. The worry there for the French is the goals that they have given up at the Stade de France. Olivier Giroud is top scorer in the group for the Les Bleus with three points.
The Dutch are in a spot of bother with just the ten points from their six games played (W3 D1 L2). Worryingly for them in this one, their troubles have been out on the road where they were held to a 1-1 draw with Sweden and then back in March they suffered a shock 2-0 loss against Bulgaria. That has been the game which has done them the most damage in qualification. That and just one point from their two big games against Sweden and France so far. They have kept just the one clean sheet across their four games as well, which was only against Luxembourg on home soil.
Head to Head News:
France have lost just one of their last five games against the Netherlands now (W3 D1 L1) and they have won each of their last three against them. So the form is there from the French and each of their last two wins over the Oranje have been by a one goal margin. France have taken a clean sheet in three of their last five contests with the Dutch.
Top Betting Tips:
The French should be on top in this one. They are a much better side than the Dutch, far stronger, far more competitive and have an abundance of quality and depth. They can take a huge stride towards Russia 2018 with victory in Paris in this one, which could potentially destroy the Dutch’s hopes of making it to Russia at the same time. France are good enough for a home victory but because they haven’t taken a clean sheet on home soil, both teams to score is even money at Sky Bet.