Having named his squad a few weeks ago, Didier Deschamps will be looking for his players to stake their claim for a place in the World Cup starting XI when France take on Ireland on Monday evening. Having beaten Russia in their last friendly, the French will be looking to kick forward and start building momentum ahead of next month’s big tournament.
In contrast, Ireland, who won’t be heading to Russia this summer, may lack motivation going into Monday’s game, though few involved with Irish football will have forgotten how France cheated their way past them to secure a place at the 2010 World Cup, so the visitors ought to be up for it.
Last time out France began laying the foundations ahead of their World Cup campaign by beating the tournament hosts Russia in relatively convincing fashion; however, as has often been the case with Les Bleus, they were none too clever at the back. Going forward, Deschamps’ men excel but defensively they can be got at, especially on the break.
As far as Les Bleus are concerned, defending poorly has been something of a theme for a while. Not only did France concede against Russia last time out, but they also conceded against Columbia prior to that, while defensive frailties were evident during their recent qualification campaign, whereby Deschamps’ men were breached by teams such as Belarus, Bulgaria, Sweden and Luxembourg.
As mentioned above, offensively, France’s quality cannot be questioned. Les Bleus made light work of scoring goals against both Russia and Columbia in the last round of friendlies, scoring five goals in total against both teams, while they also notched twice against the Germans prior to that.
Ireland will know that stopping France is going to be hard, though they may just fancy themselves to make headway at the other end of the pitch. They’re unlikely to be too cavalier but, having seen how easily other teams have got at the French, Martin O’Neill’s men should fancy themselves to do some damage. After all, the visitors have a reasonable scoring record away from home in recent times. Crucially, the Irish failed to notch when playing Denmark away from home in the World Cup play-offs, but they had scored in each of their last five on the road prior to that.
Given Les Bleus’ offensive quality and general tendency to get forward at all costs, coupled with the fact that Ireland will look to exploit the hosts on the break, this could turn into a relatively open encounter. Consider this in conjunction with recent performances, especially from the French, and it’s very easy to conclude that ‘Both Teams to Score’ is a decent bet at the prices.
An additional bet is ‘France to Win & Both Teams to Score’. With their overall quality, the hosts, despite lacking defensive solidity, ought to have no problem outscoring the Irish. After all, Deschamps men have scored at least twice in seven of their last eight on home soil, while they’ve only conceded more than once in two of those.
|ZeusBet MAY 28, 2018||1X2||DC||O/U 2.5||GG/NG||DNB|
– Republic of Ireland
HEAD TO HEAD
France have a positive recent record against Ireland, winning three of the last five renewals of this fixture. When the teams last met, at the European Championship in 2016, France came out on top by two goals to one.
FRANCE VS REPUBLIC OF IRELAND STATS
France have scored in four of their last five matches on home soil.
Ireland and France have conceded at least once in eight of their last ten combined friendlies.
Both teams have scored in four of France’s last five matches.
France have lost just two of their last ten matches where both teams found the net. (Source)