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Stuart Dalgleish 16th Jun 2010 - 18:30

France need to find their Va-va-voom

Thierry Henry once advertised a famous French car using the phrase Va-va-voom with his former wife 'Nicole', going on their performance in the 2nd game of the tournament France have yet to find it.

To be fair to Raymond Domenech's team many other sides in this tournament so far have failed to shine, but the lack of energy and flair was all too evident for the 1998 champions.

England were average in their first game, Brazil struggled to get past North Korea and Spain, while not really playing badly, fell to a shock defeat at the hands of Switzerland.

It's been a strange old opening to this year's World Cup but now teams should have adjusted to the altitude, the ball, and at times freezing conditions we should see normality restored in the 2nd round of group games.

And I suppose normality would be for a team like France (13/10) to beat Mexico (12/5, the draw 2/1) and enhance their chances of reaching the 2nd round.

To help their cause Domenech is set to recall Henry (11/2 first goal, 6/4 anytime) to the attack, possibly at the expense of Nicolas Anelka (5/1 first, 5/4 any) or maybe to play alongside the Chelsea man.

The Arsenal legend had a hand in the French getting to the finals and still has a fine strike rate for his country despite no longer being the first choice, he might not have the pace he used to but in a pressure situation like what France find themselves in for this game he can be relied upon to deliver.

Les Bleus will be hoping two more players deliver, certainly more consistently than they have been for their country at the minute, and that's their flair midfielders Yoann Gourcuff (9/1 first, 10/3 any), who celebrates his birthday on the day of the World Cup final, and Franck Ribery (7/1 first, 2/1 any).

Too many times against Uruguay they beat players but failed to find that elusive cross or through ball, and then when they did get a decent ball in to the box it was met with a poor header or a bad attempt at goal.

I really hope that France can turn it around as while us English like to have a laugh at our Gallic friends when things aren't going well, the World Cup is also a better event when the 'big' teams make it through to the knockout stages, I personally enjoyed Euro 2008 but I'm sure some of the other nations would've liked it had England qualified.

Mexico of course couldn't care less if France got knocked out, and they will be trying their utmost to ensure that happens by taking the three points off them in this game.

They had to rely on a late equaliser to gain a point from the hosts in the opener but by and large they enjoyed the better of the game.

El Tri had superior movement than their opponents but didn't test the keeper enough, but with France's nervous and inexperienced (in terms of playing together) backline they'll certainly make sure they're peppering Hugo Lloris' goal in this match.

The front three of Giovani dos Santos (10/1 first goal, 7/2 anytime), Guillermo Franco (13/2 first, 15/8 any) and Carlos Vela (15/2 first, 9/4 any) have a fantastic understanding with each other and always seem to know where one another is, it makes you wonder how Giovani and Vela don't get more minutes at club level, likewise Franco who is now unattached.

They've got the old warhorse Cuauhtemoc Blanco (9/1 first, 10/3 any) to call upon from the bench too, he's 37 now but has the nous to be able to change games still with his eye for a pass.

Mexico have certainly looked the more exciting of these two teams so far but I might have to sit on the fence on this one and go for a draw at odds of 2/1.

The French are good odds at 13/10 and surely need to put in a performance, I'm just not convinced that they'll be able to cope with Mexico's pace and movement and they might have to rely on getting a win from their last game if they're to progress to the knockout stages.

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