Group                                   : E with Switzerland, Ecuador and HondurasFrance

Current Fifa Ranking       : 19th with 893 points

World Cup Appearances               : 1930, 1934, 1938, 1954, 1958, 1966, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010

Best Achievement           : Winners in 1998 and Runners Up in 2006

Head Coach                     : Didier Deschamps

Captain                                    : Hugo Lloris

Recent ups and downs in the tournament make France a hard team to bet on. After a stuttering qualifying campaign where they only managed to clinch qualification thanks to an arduous 3-2 playoff victory against Ukraine, they can be considered as dark horses due to their depth in squad.

Les Bleus fans are full of smiles following the World Cup group stage draws. Whilst one could say that they could easily top their group, the tension in the squad has been thoroughly noticed throughout the qualifying campaign. The conditions in Brazil do not work in France’s favour as historically they have never surpassed the last 16 outside of Europe. Underestimating their opponents must be avoided, with surprise seedings Switzerland and Ecuador both able to put up a fight.

The squad is fully equipped with individual talent, including one of the 2013 Ballon D’Or favourites in Bayern Munich’s Franck Riber. The addition of captain Hugo Lloris, Real Madrid duo Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane, Juventus’ Paul Pogba, Arsenal trio Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud as well as Manchester City’s Samir Nasri and Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho shows exactly why this team should never be taken for granted. Whether the individual talent can be turned into a collective one is yet to be seen, with solidifying the team being one of Deschamp’s main tasks until the tournament begins.

Latest Betting Odds on France

                                                                                              1                        X                     2
15th June – France – Honduras  – 20:00                       1.28                           5.15                  11.00
20th June – Switzerland – France – 20:00                   3.85                            3.25                  2.01
25th June – Ecuador – France – 21:00                         3.75                          3.40                  1.97

Oozing talent and recklessness at the same time, this squad has the capabilities of reaching great heights or crumble early on. As seen in the 2010 debacle, a squad brimmed with individual talent does not necessarily bring undeniable success. Considering their group stage opposition, one would not be too mistaken with tipping France to top the group, with Giroud desperate to make his mark in the national team following Benzema’s constant hits and misses. The fact that the tournament is in Brazil may hinder any further progression during the knockouts, yet that is a much debatable argument.