World Cup Betting: France 11-1 for final fling

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The Independent Online

France won the local skirmish with Spain last night but bookmakers' prices suggest they face an uphill battle if they are to repeat their 1998 tournament success. Paddy Power and Coral make France 11-1 to go all the way, but that is generous as the best-backed teams, Brazil and England, are in the same side of the draw and liabilities on France are low.

Ronaldo, pre-tournament favourite to be top scorer, is back at the head of the betting after his record-breaking goal against Ghana. The Tote have him sharing favouritism at 5-2 with Miroslav Klose, though the German has scored four, one more than the Brazilian.

Punters who were not put off by Ronaldo's poor early form and portly figure could have picked up some fancy odds. He was pushed out to 50-1 by Ladbrokes prior to Brazil's game against Japan, in which he scored twice. Ladbrokes' Nick Weinberg, said: "He was friendless except for a handful of punters who kept the faith."

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