South Africa vs France – fractured French look to salvage pride
Despite the gloom in both camps, South Africa and France will still have slim hopes of reaching the last 16 when they face each other on Tuesday at 3pm.
With both sides so low on confidence, this match is unlikely to provide many goals. There should, however, be no lack of effort as the teams strive for an unlikely second place in Group A.
It could be that the teams’ respective poor form will see them cancel each other out, and a draw is temptingly priced at 12/5.
France have, very publicly, reached a nadir, and team morale is at an all-time low following the limp 2-0 loss to Mexico, the expulsion of Nicolas Anelka and the players’ refusal to train.
The French team director, Jean-Louis Valentin, has also resigned this week, as France prepare for their final Group A match in a state of total and utter disarray.
If they win and Uruguay beat Mexico, however, France could sneak into the second round on goal difference. This glimmer of hope could be enough to inspire them to victory against South Africa. They are 6/5 to win.
Hosts South Africa’s dreams of World Cup success on home soil, meanwhile, were dashed by a crushing 3-0 loss to Uruguay.
They now need to beat France – they are 11/5 to do so – and hope that Uruguay win against Mexico in order to resurrect their hopes of qualifying for the round of 16.
Unlike France, South Africa have scored at this World Cup, and Siphiwe Tshabalala is 11/1 to follow his opening day strike against Mexico with the opening goal against France.