The World Cup Round of 16 is primed to roll on, this time with a battle of two UEFA heavyweights battling for a spot in the quarterfinals. Defending champions France are looking to keep the title defense going, while Poland’s trying to give their aging stars a potential last World Cup worth remembering. France vs. Poland odds feature Les Bleus as heavy favorites. This match will be on Sunday, December 4th at 10 a.m. ET on FS1 and Telemundo.
Bettors should be aware during the Knockout Rounds that the three-way moneyline is only for 90 minutes plus stoppage time. If tied after that but a team wins in Extra Time or Penalty Kicks, soccer’s version of overtime, all three-way moneyline bets are still graded as a draw. If you are looking for a moneyline bet that pays out no matter when the win comes, look for “To Advance” props.
France vs. Poland Odds
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France Team Preview
After winning both their first two World Cup encounters in Qatar, it is fair to say that the defeat to Tunisia in the third was somewhat unexpected. A performance that was far short of manager Didier Deschamps’ usual standards.
However, there can be an element of mitigating circumstance attached to such a performance and with progress to the Round of 16 already being assured beforehand, their reverse to Tunisia was not the biggest surprise either.
Because when France needs to be at their best, they most certainly are. When the stakes are nowhere near as high, they often afford themselves the opportunity to dial down the intensity.
Something that would have been on show during the autumn’s UEFA Nations League campaign and with the current World Cup holders almost being relegated to the second tier, many wondered about their credentials for success in the Middle East.
While those same credentials have certainly been strengthened after getting the better of both Australia and Denmark and now with knockout soccer on the agenda, it is time for Les Blues to remind everyone of how good they actually are.
If you are to have a blip in this tournament, it is far better to suffer it in a game that is tantamount to a dead rubber. Now that they have this aberration out of their system, it is time to get back to business.
Poland Team Preview
Although Poland suffered a defeat at the hands of Argentina, they would have allowed themselves time to celebrate after. Celebrations that come courtesy of qualifying for the Round of 16.
While some will argue that their qualification is largely undeserved. Yes, they may have gotten the required number of points to finish second in Group C but they have certainly looked like one of the least inspiring teams in the tournament.
After being held by Mexico in their opening encounter, this Polish side did at least show some form of promise against Saudi Arabia and because of the combination of previous results, they would top the group after two rounds of fixtures.
However, their largely negative brand of soccer against Argentina certainly left a bitter taste in the mouth of many observers and with both Saudi Arabia and Mexico doing more to wow those in attendance, neither of them advancing feels like an injustice.
Then again, it is group stage points on the board that matters the most and although both Poland and Mexico registered four each, it was a better goal difference that sees the European nation move on.
Whether that progress continues past the weekend, we will have to wait and see. If they are to have any chance of reaching the last eight, then now is the time for Robert Lewandowski to truly show his worth.
World Cup Knockout Rounds Bracket
England vs. Tunisia Expected Goals
In a sport where scoring has extremely high variance, opportunities to score and opportunities allowed has become a more respected measure of the quality of a team’s play. Expected goals (xG) measures the quality of a shot based on several factors, including shot type, shot angle and distance from goal. Similarly, expected goals allowed (xGA) measure the quality of a team’s defense. Subtracting expected goals allowed from expected goals equals expected goal differential (xGD) and offers an overall advanced measure of a team.
|Team||Goals For||Goals Against||Goal Difference||xGoals For||xGoals Against||xGoal Difference|
In terms of the history between France and Poland, the former have celebrated more often than not. In the 16 previous meetings between the two nations, the French have won eight of them.
While they have avoided defeat in each of the last seven meetings and you must go back to 1982 for the last time that Poland earned one of three wins in the history of this fixture. Can they end a 40-year wait on the biggest stage?
Although it must also be noted that the previous five encounters have been rather low on the entertainment scale. None of them finished with over 2.5 total goals being scored and two of the quintet ended up in a 0-0 tie.
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France vs. Poland Bets To Consider
Olivier Giroud To Score Anytime:
Although Karim Benzema’s injury certainly put a substantial dent in France’s World Cup preparations, there was never going to be too much concern from manager Didier Deschamps.
Because when you consider the litany of talent he can call upon, the list of attackers ready to fill Benzema’s void is almost bordering on the absurd. A void that in this instance has been seemingly filled by Olivier Giroud.
With the Milan forward managing to find the net against Australia, he has also managed to find his way into the history books. After bagging a brace against the Socceroos, he is now the nation’s joint-highest international goalscorer.
However, Giroud does not simply want to settle for sharing an accolade, the 36-year-old will now look to snare it for himself. It only takes one goal for that to happen, it only takes one goal for this bet to be a winner.
Admittedly you could also focus on Kylian Mbappe in terms of an anytime goal. Although at -120 that does not tickle my fancy. Instead, my French fancy is being placed in the direction of his evergreen teammate and if he scores, some green bills will soon be coming your way.
France to win and under 2.5 total goals: +195
Although France has an abundance of attacking talent at one end, their defense has not quite been at its best at the other. In each of their first three World Cup 2022 outings, they have failed to keep a clean sheet.
This was not an issue in the wins over both Australia and Denmark, as that same attack upheld their part of the bargain. However, they were caught out against Tunisia and this may force manager Deschamps into a slight change of style.
Nothing too drastic in terms of change, but as someone who oversaw outright World Cup success four years ago he will be all too aware that you cannot keep conceding goals at the knockout stage.
This addition of pragmatism coupled with Poland’s rather blunt attack means two things in my opinion. First, France navigates a clear path to the quarterfinals. Second, they also manage to keep a clean sheet.
However, backing a France win to nil does not squeeze enough juice out of the sportsbooks. This is why I am opting for a Les Blues win but no more than two total goals, as the French squeeze themselves into the next round.
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