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France looks to avoid upset from Honduras Sunday
By: Staff Writer - StatFox
Published: 6/15/2014  at  5:03:00 AM
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2014 WORLD CUP SOCCER

FRANCE


vs. HONDURAS


Kickoff: Sunday, 3:00 p.m. EDT
Estadio Beira-Rio Porto Alegre, Brazil

Line:
France -400, Honduras +750, Tie +450
Over/Under: 2.5 Goals (Over +120, Under -149)

Group E play of the 2014 World Cup continues on Sunday with France heavily favored to breeze past Honduras.

France travels to a fifth successive World Cup with their usual roster full of talent, but Didier Deschamps' side's chaotic qualifying campaign allied with their erratic tournament form makes them a tough team to trust in Brazil. Deschamps' best 11 will feature seasoned performers Hugo Lloris, Patrice Evra and Franck Ribery, while much is expected of World Cup debutants Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane.

However, being a gifted bunch hasn't stopped France imploding at recent World Cups. The last time Les Bleus won their opening fixture was against South Africa 16 years ago, when they went on to become champions for the first and only time. A farcical trophy defense in Japan and South Korea four years later began with Fabien Barthez, Marcel Desailly, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and company going down 1-0 against Senegal, who were playing in their first World Cup. A brace of opening-day 0-0 ties against Switzerland and Uruguay then followed in the last two editions.

However, though betting on another low-scoring bore draw is a tempting prospect, the 12 fixtures featuring either France or Honduras between September 10 and mid-May produced a whopping combined total of 43 goals.

With that in mind, a split-stake strategy on 2-2 and 3-3 draws should be implemented for this match, but Deschamps' men are worth tracking as their campaign unfolds. France followed up World Cup final appearances in 1998 and 2006 with group-stage exits in 2002 and 2010, a pattern that suggests they'll go well again in Brazil. The play here is the plus-money on the OVER.

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