France vs Slovakia: Olympic Games bronze medallists will be stronger

France
France
Start
Day
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
Finished
Live
13 May 2022 16:20
Slovakia
Slovakia
Ice Hockey. IIHF World Championship. 2022. Group A - 1
Helsinki Ice Hall (Helsinki)
13.05.2022, 16:20

Anastasiya Dudkina
11 May 2022
19:56
Statistics of the month:
29
41
1
40.85%
Statistics
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Odds 2,30
Bet Type Handicap 2 (-2.5)
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2022 IIHF World Championship: France vs Slovakia Prediction, Betting Tips & Odds │13 MAY, 2022

On May 13, 2022, the French and Slovak hockey teams will meet in Helsinki, Finland, for the opening match of the Ice Hockey World Championship.

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France are by no means the most hockey-friendly nation in the world, but over the last decade and a half, they have developed into a regular competitor in the elite division at the World Championships but still crashed out in 2019. The Blues also failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics, losing the decisive game to Latvia 1-2. Philippe Bozon's side had played eight friendlies in which they claimed two wins and six defeats before kicking off the World Cup in Finland. The French national team's leading scorer at the 2022 World Cup is Alexandre Texier, who has spent four seasons in the NHL at the age of 22 for Columbus.

The Slovak national team has been a force to be reckoned with in World Cups and even won the 2002 World Cup, but in recent years they've stopped even being in the middle of the pack. In the previous eight World Cups, the Slovaks had qualified out of the group only once, but even then lost in the quarter-finals to the Americans, crushed 1-6. It looked as though they would be without momentum. Still, at the Beijing Olympics, they clinched the bronze medals, beating Germany and the USA in the play-offs, before demolishing Sweden 4-0 in the repechage final. And at the 2022 World Cup, we can expect something huge from the Slovaks.

  • The French team has not played in the World Championships since 2019;
  • The French team has lost four out of five friendly games before the 2022 World Cup;
  • Slovakia have won four of their last five official games;
  • The Slovak national team has never lost in regulation time in the six friendlies before the 2019-2022 World Cup.

France and Slovakia have had comparable results in recent major tournaments. Both teams have rarely made the playoffs, but they have also avoided relegation each time. But Craig Ramsay's side has made tremendous progress in the previous year, reaching the quarter-finals at the 2021 World Cup and bronze medals at the 2022 Olympics. At that time, the French could not boast anything, so now the visitors are favorites to win, and we can place our bet on Slovakia's victory with a handicap (-2.5) for 2.30.

The Slovak Republic is a pragmatic team, unwilling to score in droves and play in tightly controlled conditions. The Slovakian roster is virtually devoid of top-level players, save for Tomas Tatar, whose NHL season has been uneventful so far. The French national team is just returning to the elite world division, so it is unlikely that they will dare to play bright and attacking hockey from the first games. After all, they need to get used to such a high level. Before the 2022 World Cup, the Slovaks beat the French 2-0, so even now, we would expect Total Under 5.5 pucks for 1.85.

The Slovakian national team is a team on a higher level than the French. It will be especially important for Craig Ramsay's charges to play aggressively in the game's opening stages to seize the vital advantage and then build upon it. Otherwise, the Blues could develop a belief in their success, leaving them hanging on to their morale. The Slovaks don't need that, so a bet on a Slovak win in the first period for 1.99 would be worth considering.

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Odds 1,85
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