Euro 2024

Republic of Ireland v France Tips: Turn France to odds-against by backing goals

France manager Didier Deschamps
Deschamps has signed a contract with France until 2026

France's destruction of Netherlands on Friday night has highlighted just how stiff a challenge Stephen Kenny's Republic of Ireland face in Dublin on Monday writes Daniel McDonnell...

  • Tough task for Kenny's men against strong France side

  • Ireland are capable of scoring

  • A France win with Over 2.5 Goals appeals @ 2.56/4


Republic of Ireland v France
Monday March 27, 19:45

Live On RTE/Premier Sports

Ireland's search for a miracle

You didn't need mind reading capabilities to judge the Irish mood as cameras panned in their direction during last October's Euro 2024 draw.

This was the big one for Stephen Kenny, with his stop start tenure all about building towards the attempt to reach the finals in Germany.

All his third seeds required was a little bit of fortune in Frankfurt. What followed explains why the 'luck of the Irish' line is used ironically within the nation's football community.

France were the second seeds that every team wanted to avoid but Ireland landed Les Bleus. Add in the Netherlands as top seeds and it was the stuff of nightmares for Kenny and his cash strapped employers who need the funds from tournament qualification.

The only good news from their perspective is that the visit of France on Monday night is sold out, with no fears about ticket sales for a glamour group.

What Ireland need to do is somehow find a way to take a result from Didier Deschamps' World Cup runners up and create the belief that a top two finish is somehow possible.

That's why there were mixed emotions watching France hammer the Dutch 4-0 on Friday. On one hand, it highlighted that Ronald Koeman's side have vulnerabilities that could be exploited over the campaign, although they were down quite a few bodies.

Yet France looked a daunting proposition, dismissing the idea they might be suffering some kind of World Cup hangover with new skipper Kylian Mbappe scoring twice as the dominant member of a mobile front line that pounced on any Dutch errors.

Emotive history

Ireland do have history with France, of course, but the strongest depth of feeling is in the dugout where Kenny's assistants Keith Andrews and John O'Shea have sore memories of Thierry Henry's handball.

A handful of squad members were a part of the group that exited Euro 2016 at the hands of the hosts after a stirring Irish show in Lyon.

But it's a new generation now and there's no credible way to link their prospects to previous displays. What's true is that the home crowd should generate a feverish atmosphere at kick-off time. France were feted in Paris against the Dutch and the visitors helpfully rolled out the red carpet with some early mistakes. The optimistic take on things from an Irish viewpoint is that they might be slightly rattled by a contrast in surroundings just 72 hours later.

However, this French group have largely been there and done that at club level even if there's a youthful flavour to Deschamps' squad, the manager happy to look to the longer term with his contract extended until 2026

Back to lay potential?

Unsurprisingly, France are trading short around the 1.51 mark and there are worse bets in that ballpark available on a daily basis to regular punters.

Still, there could be some back to lay potential in this price. Ireland have a decent record against strong sides under Kenny.

It's certain he will stick with his defensive three and a compact midfield shape around them. While he encourages his sides to play and pass the ball, they are capable of being pragmatic and dialled in against a superior force.

His downfall to date has been complacent patches against weaker sides, including in last week's unnecessarily eventful 3-2 friendly victory over Latvia which was strikingly similar to September's Nations League success over Armenia by the same scoreline.

There is excitement around the emergence of Brighton's Evan Ferguson who will make his competitive debut through the middle but the big question mark is who supports him.

Kenny has spoken of the need for speed and this opens up the prospect of either Burnley's Michael Obafemi or Rotherham's Chiedozie Ogbene figuring as a second striker.

France are a terrifying prospect goIng forward, with Antoine Griezmann the clever link man behind a front three, yet they do leave gaps in behind.

Thumbnail image for Antoine Griezmann celebrating 1280.jpg

If Ireland can burst out of the blocks with purpose, a French side that is happy to allow opponents have the ball and wait for mistakes before exploding into action might just not press on too early. This means there may be back to lay potential here

Ireland v France best bets

History would suggest Ireland's best chance of a big result is keeping it tight for as long as possible and then striking late.

But they've never faced a team with this attacking quality before and the Irish defensive combinations remain a work in progress.

The gut feeling is that an Ireland side which has had a week to build up this game will be prepped to go out and pose problems for their guests but they might just eventually be opened up by an opponent capable of finding another gear. A French win and Over 2.5 goals at around [2.5] appeals.

Back France to Win and Over 2.5 Goals @

2.5

A more green tinted selection is Both Teams to Score at 2.26/5. France only kept one clean sheet at the World Cup and were fortunate to do so against Morocco.

A late penalty miss on Friday let them off the hook after some unconvincing defending.

Ireland have scored in six of their last eight matches against higher ranked opposition. They can give the Lansdowne Road something to cheer about, even if any joy is short lived.

Back Both Teams to Score @

2.2

Why win less?

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