Olympic bronze medalists: The French and Slovak hockey teams will face off in the first match of the Ice Hockey World Championship on May 13, 2022, in Helsinki, Finland.
France is hardly the most hockey-friendly country in the world, but over the previous decade and a half, they have evolved into a consistent challenger in the top level at the World Championships, only to be eliminated in 2019. The Blues also failed to qualify for the Olympics in Beijing, losing the deciding game 1-2 against Latvia. Before the World Cup began in Finland, Philippe Bozon’s team had played eight friendlies, winning two and losing six. Alexandre Texier, the French national team’s highest scorer in the 2022 World Cup, has played four seasons in the NHL for Columbus at the age of 22.
The Slovak national team has been a force to be reckoned with in World Cups, even winning the tournament in 2002, but in recent years they have dropped to the middle of the pack. The Slovaks had only qualified out of their group once in the previous eight World Cups, and even then they were defeated 1-6 by the Americans in the quarter-finals. It seemed like they would lose momentum. Nonetheless, they won bronze medals in Beijing, defeating Germany and the United States in the play-offs before defeating Sweden 4-0 in the repechage final. And we should anticipate big things from Slovakia in the 2022 World Cup.
Before the game, there are some interesting statistics.
- The French team has not competed in the World Championships since 2019;
- the French team has lost four of the five pre-World Cup friendly games;
- Slovakia has won four of their last five official games;
- and the Slovak national team has never lost in regulation time in the six friendlies preceding the 2019-2022 World Cup.
Expert Betting Advice
Olympic bronze medalists: In recent big tournaments, France and Slovakia have achieved similar performances. Both clubs have never reached the playoffs, although they have always avoided relegation. Craig Ramsay’s team, on the other hand, had made significant progress in the previous year, reaching the quarter-finals of the 2021 World Cup and winning bronze in the 2022 Olympics. The French could not brag anything at the moment, so the visitors are now favorites to win, and we can bet on Slovakia’s triumph with a handicap (-2.5) for 2.30.
The Slovak Republic is a pragmatic squad that is hesitant to score in large numbers and prefers to play in closely controlled situations. The Slovakian squad is almost barren of top-tier players, with the exception of Tomas Tatar, who has had an uninteresting NHL season so far. Because the French national team has just recently returned to the highest international level, it is doubtful that they would dare to play bright and offensive hockey from the start.
The Slovaks defeated the French 2-0 before to the 2022 World Cup, thus we would predict Total Under 5.5 pucks for 1.85 even today.
The Slovakian national team is a higher-level squad than the French. Craig Ramsay’s charges will need to play aggressively in the early phases of the game to take the crucial edge and then build on it. Otherwise, the Blues may build a conviction in their ability to succeed, leaving them clinging to their morale. The Slovaks don’t need that, therefore a bet on a Slovak victory in the first period at 1.99 is worth considering. OKBET Sportsbook allows you to bet legally online.