• Sat 23 Sep, 2017
  • 08:26 BST
  • 04:26 EST (BST-4)
  • 10:26 CEST (BST+2)

Karim the call at 9/2

Live on ITV & BBC1: Jun 12-Jul 13: France’s Karim Benzema is 9/2 (Ladbrokes) to be the top scorer in World Cup Group E.

France’s preparations for the World Cup have been dealt a major blow by news that Franck Ribery will miss the tournament but Didier Deschamps’ men nevertheless look a safe bet at 4/5 courtesy of Betfred to win Group E.

They toiled in qualifying, requiring a dramatic comeback in a play-off to get to Brazil but Les Bleus are in one of the weakest groups and have enough quality to top the pile.

At the other end, Honduras are just 1/2 at Coral to prop up the rest and as the Central American outfit might struggle for goals, there’s some appeal to a flutter on them to lose all three games at 11/5 (Skybet).

The battle to join France in the knockout stage subsequently looks to be between Switzerland and Ecuador but it’s not easy to separate the pair. Bet365 rate the Swiss at 4/6 to get through while La Tri are even money at William Hill and even though the pair face each other first, everything could hinge on that contest.

The temptation, given the price of 21/10 (Paddy Power[afflink label="Paddy Power" title=""][/afflink]) would be to back Ecuador to finish second but it’s too risky to recommend with any conviction.

Instead it could be worth having a modest play on Karim Benzema at 9/2 via Ladbrokes to be the top scorer in the group stage. Ribery’s absence places extra emphasis on the Real Madrid front man and he’s in decent nick for his country at the moment so he can start the competition well.

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Karim Benzema to be the top Group E scorer – 9/2 (Ladbrokes)

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