What a frustration yesterday. I mentioned in the research that Croatia had scored 3 goals in a number of matches recently. But I put faith in an Irish outfit with 11 clean sheets in 14 and rather dismissed the 3 goals of Croatia. Well 3-1 to Croatia perhaps pointed out the fact that I also dismissed a team who were far higher in the FIFA rankings.

That’s research for you! I could have nailed that match yesterday if I was more biased towards Croatia!

As you will read, France are in superb unbeaten form. England are all over the shop, Rio left out, Cahill out, and other injuries. Add to this a new manager with new tactics and it is difficult for me to actually get an angle into England suffice to say they have 2 recent 1-0’s to their names. Woy has mentioned the importance of goalkeepers and that should give us a hint that defence will be key.

This is a match of managers? Laurent Blanc, the established defender, brings defensive solidity, and in 2 matches already, It seems Woy is building from the back.

France are unbeaten in 21 matches and are surely going under the radar of the majority of punters who will not do their research. 13 clean sheets includes 2 in the last 2 matches. Laurent Blanc loves keeping it tight.

Eye-catching scalps, albeit in friendlies, include Brazil and Germany. France must surely be confident.And they have some great players including Ben Arfa, Benzema, Diarra, Malouda, Nazri, Valbuena, Ribery, Cliche, Koscielny, Mexes and Evra.

That’s some class!

Unbeaten in 9 Euro qualifiers and most recently a series of WDWDWD. A very poor Euro 2008 but tough opponents. 0-0 v Romania, 4-1 loss to Netherlands, and 0-2 loss v Italy. Remember though, they did have that Thunderbird as manager.

Wins, in friendlies, v Germany and Brazil hint at an ability to cope with other European superpowers?

England, as already hinted at, are tough to read. 4 1-0 wins in last 5 and an exciting 2-3 friendly v Netherlands.

Qualification was under Capello and we already see changes under Woy.

England are tough to read which is a pity. I don’t think Carroll is up to Euro standard and this could be a damp squib tournament for England.

6 of the last 7 Euro competition matches have been over 2.5 goals. But – I repeat – under different management.

So, England are tough to read. France are in superb form, clearly buzzing with confidence, and very hard to beat, especially for an experimental England.

The fact England are unreadable means that they could surprise. Has Woy laid down the tactics – 0-0 and hope to nick a goal. Or as has been the case, score an early goal and hold on. Advantage France for me on form. France seem to have the better personnel.

No bet for me , although at the odds, I’d be happy laying England, although they could conceivably score early and hold on as they have done in the friendlies.

Joe Hart is arguably England’s stand out player, Rooney is banned for 2 matches and will have to make do with a tyre to swing on until his ban is ended, Rio is out – big surprise, and there’s an over reliance on the old guard I feel.