While a friendly against France in Paris remains once of the most glamourous fixtures in international football, Spain coach Julen Lopetegui was at pains to point out that the most important match in this international week was his side's World Cup qualifier against Israel.
The boss of La Roja would have been extremely pleased with how his men went about their task on Friday, ensuring a 4-1 win and maintaing top spot in their group ahead of Italy. The Israelis provided relatively weak opposition at the Estadio Molinon in Gijon and Spain will know that there will be a considerable step up in quality when they travel to France.
Les Bleus for their part recorded an unconvincing 3-1 qualifying win over Luxembourg on Saturday, with the tiny nation actually scoring an equaliser to briefly make the scoreline 1-1. France's array of attacking talent is arguably greater than that of Spain with the likes of Olivier Giroud, Antoinne Griezmann and Dimitri Payet all starting againt Luxembourg and yet somehow the side struggled for rhythm.
Nevertheless, the French are favourites for the game at the Stade de France on Tuesday evening with Paddy Power offering them at 11/8 (2.37) while Spain can be backed at 21/10 (3.10) and the draw offered at the same price.
Of course, it is worth remembering that this is a friendly, and while both sides are among the best in the world, they are less convincing when it comes to non-competitive fixtures.
Spain have played seven friendlies over the last 12 months, winning three, drawing three and losing one. France have, on paper, a stronger record in recent friendlies although they drew 0-0 with Ivory Coast in November, and needed late goals to beat Cameroon and Russia last year.
This should be a relatively even game, with the last three meetings between these nations seeing a 1-0 win for each and a 1-1 draw. If we find it difficult to split them, then the price for the draw should appeal especially given Spain's recent run of draws in friendly matches, while backing a half-time stalemate at 10/11 (1.91) is also worthy of consideration.
|Draw full time at 21/10 (3.10) for a 1pt stake with Paddy Power|