France (6) v Romania (38) – Group A – 8pm (ITV) – 10.06.16 – Stade de France, Paris
France are unbeaten against Romania for over 45 years but four of the last five meetings have finished all-square. Their recent form is good as they’ve won seven of eight matches before the pre-tournament friendlies and have scored 17 times in their last six home games. Moreover, since 2012 they’ve won 15 of their 17 home games against teams ranked outside our top 20 with 12 victories by more than one goal and 10 wins to nil.
Romania’s unbeaten qualifying record was largely down to a group where the average ranking of their opponents was just 77th and they still won only half their matches while scoring just 11 times in 10 games. In fact they’d drawn seven of their last nine matches ahead of their final two warm-up friendlies, but against this calibre of opposition that looks the best they can hope for. They last beat a top-20 team back in 2007 and have since gone 15 games with nine draws and six defeats.
France will probably be in many people’s accas for the opening weekend and we wouldn’t argue with that. However, the ‘win to nil’ and Asian Handicap line look quite fair prices. Instead, if you want to back France, we’d go for the Win/Win Half-Time/Full-Time double at 2.00 given that’s been the case in each of France’s last six wins.
Recommendation: France/France at 2.00