FRANCE VS UKRAINE
One of four European teams to feature in the first-ever World Cup back in 1930, reigning champions France now begin their 2022 World Cup Qualification (WCQ) campaign and title defence - with an eighth competitive clash vs Ukraine (W3, D3, L 1). The world's number two ranked nation are enjoying a 13-game unbeaten run in competitive action (WI 1, D2), with eight victories during that period being accompanied by a HT lead, so should feel confident against the 24th ranked visitors.
That run seems likely to continue, as 'Les Bleus' have not lost their opening home game of a WCQ campaign since 1968 (W9, DI following)! Fans should expect early action though, as eight of France's previous ten competitive home games witnessed the opening goal scored within the first 20 minutes.
If excluding a walkover result vs Switzerland, Ukraine's 3-1 loss in Germany last November made it three defeats across their previous four competitive matches (WI), though the sole win came against heavyweights Spain (#6). However, starting well will be a priority for the Ukrainians, as they've lost each of their previous six competitive matches to see them trail at HT.
PREDICTION: GG, OVER 2.5 GOALS & FRANCE TO WIN. CS 4-1
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