France VS Ireland Prediction
Ireland will hope to take their revenge as “The Boys in Green” keep some awful memories from their last match against France. Seven years after the scandalous situation at the 2010 FIFA World Cup play-offs, Ireland returns at French turf and they are still living with the ghost of Thierry Henry hand which eliminated “The Green Army” and Henry’s assist in this occasion was crucial for the equalizer. After winning with 2:1 on aggregate, France qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but that remains an event for which France of Raymond Domenech won’t want to remember for, not even for a single moment.
Now situation is at completely different light and their game will renew the UEFA Euro 2016 schedule in Sunday afternoon. Game number four in the 1/8 finals which is under number 40 of the competition will be staged by the brand new “Parc Olympique Lyonnais”, home of Lyon. France reached the Round of 16 after topping Group A while Ireland’s Euro 2016 dream happened in a fantastic way, in a historical moment for Irish football. This was Ireland’s first breakthrough at the continental scene and Martin O’Neill’s men may have opportunity to answer for the lost advantage in November 2009, where Ireland led by Giovanni Trapattoni was slaughtered by Martin Hansson’s decision. That happened in the additional 30 minutes of the game at “Stade de France” and to be more detailed, some of the “Green Boys” in Giovanni Trapattoni’s command are now at Euro 2016. Shay Given is in the list, John O’Shea, Glenn Whelan, Aiden McGeady and captain Robbie Keane took part in that unfortunate night for Irish football and they’ll face against even stronger France this time.
Team News – France
Despite the not so convincing results in the Euro 2016 group stage “Les Bleus” are still the big favorite and “La Sélection” of Didier Deschamps can always be inspired by the home crowd. Now France will visit Lyon where “Parc Olympique Lyonnais” will welcome the home nation and atmosphere will be unique, that’s for sure. Not without the great mood and high level of support by the Irish fans as well. However, everyone in France hopes that we won’t have another surprise at this stadium, since we can assume that all Euro 2016 fixtures which were in Lyon ended with result different from the expected, at least considering the bookmakers’ odds and chances they deliver. Well, Didier Deschamps’s men already played with the nerves of their fans and we can easily note that each of the Group A matches ended with huge drama and late outcome, luckily to the Euro 2016 hosts.
Starting from the difficult win at the Euro 2016 opener and the beauty scored by Dimitri Payet in Romania‘s net, passing through the late double against Albania in Marseille, closing the first part with the draw against Switzerland. Last one was undoubtedly the most disappointing result for France, but enough to guarantee their first position in Group A. Their top ranking respectively brings lower ranked opponent and we find them in Ireland’s face. “The Boys in Green” were one of the best placed third teams and France have all arguments to be favorite.
All players are willing to sweat the national team jersey and Didier Deschamps can decide will he keep the same formation, which is most likely, and will he repeat the experimental attitude. France started with different attacking formations in all three games and we believe that Deschamps will prefer the formation he used in the Euro 2016 opening game against Romania. This includes Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann for sure but Blaise Matuidi’s poor form puts his starting position in question. Only months ago the 47-year-old French coach said that his first choice out of eleven is always Matuidi, but his recent performances are not covering the expectations of Deschamps. This opens a chance for someone from Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko, who were both in the squad against Switzerland, while N’Golo Kante was rested.
André-Pierre Gignac started against Switzerland but he didn’t made enough to convince us that he must play instead of Olivier Giroud, so Arsenal’s attacker looks the most reliable choice. Dimitri Payet is one of the best players at Euro 2016 so far and fact that he won the Man of the Match award in both games he started speaks by itself. Payet came from the bench against Switzerland and he was really close to become MoM once again, but his great shot met the post. Now Payet will take his starting position back and this will happen on Kingsley Coman’s expense.
Team News – Republic of Ireland
Ireland comes with the role of outsider and “The Boys in Green” can only win from that game. Apparently Martin O’Neill’s men are filled with enthusiasm after that late success against Italy, but they must get back to reality as soon as possible. Ireland will play against the Euro 2016 host nation and France is one of the worst possible challenges, not only because they are welcoming the competition, but because they can afford to field numerous starting squad. Indeed, squad depth is one of the main differences here and missing players can easily affect on both teams, as the lack of wide variety can be seen in both lights. In Ireland’s case every injury comes as major blow and Jonathan Walters’ absence is the only concern of Martin O’Neill. Walters wasn’t featured in Ireland’s squad after their opening match vs Sweden where he was substituted due to an injury. Anyway, last result will inevitably boost the morale of “The Green Army” and mostly to the fans, who believe that their team can revenge take its vendetta for the above mentioned World Cup playoff.
Ireland will have to stay focused though, as their morale will be sky-high, but they should remain on earth and realize that winning against frugal Italy (obviously uninterested by that game, thinking for the upcoming match against Spain) won’t be the same compared to what’s on horizon. France will show completely different motivation and Martin O’Neill must decide will he start with the same squad, or he’ll make some rotations. If we fancy that Jon Walters is out from contention for another game, O’Neill will most likely name the same 4-4-1-1 formation, but with few rotations that are expected to happen. We expect Robbie Brady to get back at the left back where Stephen Ward wasn’t so solid. Brady’s presence in defense and names of Glenn Whelan and Wes Hoolahan are things which are very likely, as Hoolahan definitely increased the desire and freshness of the team in the closing minutes against Italy, when situation was getting even more closer to 0-0.
Considering the clean sheet kept we don’t expect rotations in defense where Shane Duffy and Richard Keogh were in relatively decent level, as their efforts puts positions of vice-captain John O’Shea (captain in Keane’s absence) and Ciaran Clark, who were used in the first two matches. However, all three goals from Belgium were sign that Irish defense requires some new ideas and O’Neill surely took bold decision.
Euro 2016: France vs Ireland – possible squads and betting tip
Last six matches between both nations were marked by a streak of low-scoring affairs and the last game with “Over” on the score sheet was back in October 1981 – 3:2 for Ireland in the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. This was not only the last high-scoring encounter between France and Ireland, but Ireland’s last win over “The Blues” as well. Well, Ireland won the regular 90 minutes of their last match (above mentioned playoff in 2009), but we doubt that someone in Ireland or any of the “Boys in Green” celebrated that result after that awful story.
France won in three from the next six matches between both teams and two were marked by draws (in the 90 mins), as all six matches have ended with no more than 2 goals – France answered to Ireland for the 2:3 defeat only two weeks later (with a 2:0 win), while rest of the matches ended without any goal scored or with narrow wins for France. This pretty much how difficult is for Ireland to play against France, but the same goes for France for sure.
Despite all slips in the year (both 1-0 wins of France were in Ireland), France doesn’t have another option than winning against Ireland, since everything else than position in the final and respectively Euro 2016 trophy will be disappointment for whole French community. Indeed, France invested huge amount of money, human resources and investments in security to welcome Euro 2016 and this makes rentability even more important figure in their goals.
We expect another difficult day for French football marked with another tricky game, but with victory in final. Something like 1 or 2 to 0 fits completely in our scenario for the upcoming 1/8 final between France and Ireland, but we prefer the suggested odds for “France To Win To Nil“.
Martin O’Neill raises the stake for Ireland as he told to his assistant Roy Keane to shave if “The Boys in Green” toasts memorable night in Lyon. However, we find more quality in the French team and everything different than a home win will be huge upset.
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli from Italy.
Assistant referees and fourth official: Elenito Di Liberatore, Mauro Tonolini (Italy) and Aleksei Kulbakov (Belarus).
Venue: “Parc Olympique Lyonnais”, Lyon.
Possible starting squads of France and Republic of Ireland
France: Hugo Lloris (c) – Bacary Sagna, Adil Rami, Laurent Koscielny, Patrice Evra – Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté, Blaise Matuidi – Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Dimitri Payet. (4-3-3)
Republic of Ireland: Darren Randolph – Robbie Brady, Shane Duffy, Richard Keogh, Seamus Coleman – James McClean, James McCarthy, Glenn Whelan, Jeff Hendrick – Wes Hoolahan – Shane Long. (4-4-1-1)