UEFA Euro 2016 Knockout Stage Preview – France vs Republic of Ireland

France vs Republic of Ireland, Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon


Match Log

France

France 2 (Giroud 57, Payet 89), Romania 1 (Stancu 65 pen)
France 2 (Griezmann 90, Payet 90+6), Albania 0
Switzerland 0, France 0

Republic of Ireland

Republic of Ireland 1 (Hoolahan 48), Sweden 1 (Clark 71 og)
Belgium 3 (R Lukaku 48, 70, Witsel 61), Republic of Ireland 0
Italy 0, Republic of Ireland 1 (Brady 85)

Team News

France

The French have no injury or suspension worries leading in to the knockout stages, and Blaise Matuidi, Dimitri Payet, N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud are likely to regain their places in the team after being rested against Switzerland. Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann have been facing intense scrutiny, but they are strong players and are likely to start.
Likely team (4-3-3): Lloris – Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra; Matuidi, Kante, Pogba; Griezmann, Giroud, Payet.

Republic of Ireland

Jon Walters is set to return from an Achilles injury, and he should reclaim his place in the team from Daryl Murphy if he is fit. Stephen Ward is doubtful after suffering an ankle injury against the Italians, and there is no real replacement for him if he cannot get up. Robbie Brady would probably shift back into defence, but the quality of his work on the left wing means this is not ideal. If Ward cannot play it throws up a serious curve-ball for Martin O’Neill, but the Irish can push on.
Likely team (4-4-2): Randolph – Coleman, Duffy, Keogh, Ward; Hendrick, McCarthy, Brady, Hoolahan; Walters, Long.

Keys to success

France

The French have not been at the top of their game throughout this tournament, and they will be looking for bigger performances from Pogba, Matuidi and Griezmann as they face a spirited Irish team. Dimitri Payet has been in stunning form after kicking off the tournament with an incredible individual performance, and France will hope that he can step up. Patrice Evra has been out of form at left back, and he will need to play better if he hopes to keep his spot in the team.

Republic of Ireland

The Irish are a determined side, and they will need to give their all to match it with a French side with more experience, skill and class. The gap in quality is clear, and the Irish defence will need to be ready to cope with the added pressure. The attack did not find the back of the net too many times during the group stage, and Shane Long will need to step up if he wants to keep his spot for the remainder of the tournament.

Prediction

The Irish are determined and will show plenty of determination, but the French should be too good. The midfield of Pogba, Kante and Matuidi is incredibly strong, and they have the potential to provide plenty of chances for the attack. If Pogba can find his best form the French will be unstoppable. France 2-0.

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