The second round of the UEFA Nations League 2020/21 continues as France hosts Croatia at the Stade de France in Paris on Tuesday night in what will be their first meeting since the 2018 World Cup finals.
France looked sub-par against Sweden on Saturday night but a first-half goal from their superstar forward Kylian Mbappe was enough to grant the world champions all three points on offer in Solna. It wasn’t an easy win for them as Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris had a string of saves, particularly in the second half, to keep the marauding Swedes at arm’s length. Antoine Griezmann had a chance to drive a dagger to the Swedes at the end but he blasted his penalty over the bar after Martial was brought down by his Manchester United team-mate Victor Lindelof.
Les Bleus are trying to put up a better performance than they did in the 2018-19 edition where despite coming in as one of the favourites, they failed to advance to the next round after finishing second in their section.
They’ve nevertheless already qualified for the Euro championships but there is no doubt they will want to underline their favourites tag by making a deep run in this competition.
Meantime, Croatia opened their 2020-21 campaign with a 4-1 defeat to Portugal on Saturday night. They were outgunned and outclassed by a more superior Portuguese team in fact played without their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.
They’ve also qualified for the Euros next summer but they will certainly need to improve if they are to make their presence felt both in this competition and in the summer championship.
When these two teams faced each other at full strength in the finals of the 2018 World Cup, France ran out comfortable 4-2 winners. From the looks of it, Croatia stars Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic are still rested and will be unavailable for this tie. France, however, are taking this competition seriously and they have their full retinue of stars available for this game. Although they looked less than impressive against Sweden, we expect them to be up for this and we are therefore backing them to win this match @ 1.64 with Betway as our first betting tip for this match.
Manchester United forward Anthony Martial provided the spark for France against Sweden from the bench and could well get the nod to start the game. He has improved every facet of his game this season with United but the most impressive has been his ability to hold up play and bring in others into the picture. This has seen him rack up quite a few assists for Man United. This is a role that Giroud used to play so well for France but if Martial is able to do that while remaining a goal-scoring threat, Deschamps will have no option but to start him. With Griezzman and Mbappe providing support, we can certainly expect him to have an impact in this game and we fancy him to score anytime @ 2.77 with Betway betting app as our final prediction here.
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