Super subs Smith and Duggan may not be enough to inspire England
England coach Hope Powell is in need of inspiration ahead of her side’s final game in Euro 2013 Group C, and she’ll be seeking to get it from the old and the young.
Arsenal forward Kelly Smith, 32, climbed off the bench to make her first competitive appearance in four months in the previous group game against Russia, when she set up fellow sub Toni Duggan for the 93rd minute equaliser which kept the Three Lionesses in the tournament.
Everton’s Duggan, 21, is now tipped to start alongside Smith in Linkoping, where the 3/1 England need to beat France to be sure of reaching the quarter-finals.
A draw could prove to be enough to see the English reach the last eight as one of the two best third-placed teams in their group, but given that they’ve taken just one point from their two games so far that scenario is unlikely.
With Powell confirming that she will make changes for the crucial contest, Smith is available at 8/1 to open the scoring and Duggan is 10/1, but both will have trouble breaching the defence of the formidable French.
Bruno Bini’s side have won both of their matches so far, and are already certain of a place in the quarter-finals.
With almost half of the squad made up of players from Olympique Lyonnais, who have contested all of the last four Champions League finals, the French look good value at 7/4 to win the tournament – particularly given the struggles of favourites Germany, who only qualified second from their group having lost to Norway.
At 4/5 to beat England and knock them out, France will be looking towards Paris Saint-German’s new signing Marie-Laure Delie, who scored twice in her side’s opening game of the tournament against Russia and is 7/2 to strike first here.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing