23 March 2019
France’s European Championship qualifiers get underway this week with their first clash against Moldova that will take place at the Stadionul Zimbru in Chişinău.
Although they enjoy a prosperous period having lost just one of their last six games (W2, D3, L1), the hosts are considered huge underdogs in this fixture. Mainly relying on a strong rearguard that has kept five clean sheets in the previous eight games, Alexandru Spiridon hopes to steal away some points in Moldova’s first ever H2H meeting with France. While he can be more than pleased with the way his team protects their goal, Spiridon can’t be happy about how his players perform in the final third. Moldova have not only managed to score 2+ match goals just once in their last 15 games across all competitions (against San Marino), but they have failed to find the back of the net 11 times in that period. As a result, 13 of their last 15 games have produced over 2.5 goals, with goals coming on both ends only twice in the process.
Meanwhile, the visitors go into this meeting off the back of a narrow 1-0 triumph over Uruguay in a friendly challenge. However, although they’ve lost just one of six games in the post-World Cup period (W3, D2, L1), they have endured a frustrating UEFA Nations League campaign, finishing as runners-up in Group A/1 behind the Netherlands. Additionally, Les Bleus have failed to hit the net in two of four competitive clashes after returning from Russia, and both of those encounters were played away from home. Didier Deschamps can’t be satisfied with his team’s defensive displays considering the reigning world champions have struggled to preserve a clean slate in four consecutive games before beating Uruguay although they now face one of the weakest offensive sides in Europe.
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