France travel to take on Sweden in a crucial World Cup qualifier on Friday night as the race to reach Russia gathers pace.
Les Bleus were held to a dismal goalless draw with Belarus in their opening Group A game - a result that suggested that Didier Deschamps' charges were suffering something of a hangover from their agonising defeat in the final of the European Championships on home soil last summer.
Since then, though, France have been in fine form. Les Bleus have won each of their last four World Cup qualifiers to move to the top of Group A - furthermore, Deschamps' men warmed up for this match in impressive style, claiming a fantastic 5-0 win against Paraguay in Rennes last Friday.
With only one team from each group assured of a place at next summer's World Cup, there is plenty to play for and France can take a significant stride on the road to Russia with a win here. Victory in Solna would see Les Bleus move six points clear of Sweden and Paddy Power offer 8/11 (1.73) that the visitors achieve that objective.
Sweden were beaten 2-1 in Paris when these rivals locked horns back in November, while Janne Andersson's men were forced to settle for a share of the spoils when they hosted Netherlands in the opening game of the group.
The Swedes, though, are in decent form, for they have won four of their last five fixtures, including a hugely impressive 3-2 away win against European champions, Portugal, in an international friendly last time out.
Sweden can no longer call upon the services of their long-time talismanic striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who announced his retirement from the international game in the wake of Sweden's group stage exit from the European Championships last summer, but recent outings would certainly suggest that Andersson's men are not struggling for goals despite the absence of the Manchester United man from their ranks.
Indeed, Sweden have scored a hugely impressive 13 goals in their last three games and they have been on target in each of their nine matches since they were eliminated from the European Championships after suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Belgium.
There is an offer of 11/10 (2.10) that there are goals at both ends in this game and 6/5 (2.20) that there are more than two goals scored - a selection that would have seen punters profit from six of Sweden's last seven games.
France have been beaten inside 90 minutes in just one of their last 20 fixtures and the 2/1 (3.0) quote for Les Bleus to win a match featuring at least three goals could offer good value for punters. The selection would have landed in 12 of the last 15 matches that Deschamps' men have won.
|Over 2.5 goals and France to win at 2/1 (3.0) for a 2pt stake with Paddy Power|