France entertain the Republic of Ireland in a Euro 2024 Group B qualifier on Thursday evening. When the two sides met back in March, France managed to secure a 1-0 victory as Ireland delivered a spirited performance. We take a look at where the betting value could lie in this fixture.
France boss Didier Deschamps boasts a strong squad for the September fixtures and he will be hoping that he can take Les Bleus one step closer to Euro 2024 qualification against the Republic of Ireland. Lucas Hernandez returns to the squad after nine months out with an ACL injury.
The two most notable absentees from the list are midfielders N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba, who have missed out despite playing for Al-Ittihad and Juventus respectively this term.
Ireland gave a good account of themselves when the two sides met earlier in the year and they did make France work hard for their 1-0 victory. The Boys in Green had their own chances in that match but weren’t clinical enough, something they will be out to change on this occasion.
Defender Matt Doherty is serving his two-game suspension he picked up for a red card against Greece in June. Shane Duffy, Festy Ebosele and Aaron Connolly are back in the squad after lengthy absences. Striker Evan Ferguson has been ruled out for the upcoming fixtures after sustaining an injury against Newcastle United, after having scored his first Premier League hat-trick.
Over 0.5 Republic of Ireland goals at 11/10
There was very little to separate the two sides for chances last time out. Ireland had 11 attempts on goal while France had 12. Stephen Kenny’s side could only manage two shots on target, however, and in international football you need to be a lot more clinical.
Kenny does head into this international break with some positivity, though, with a few of his strikers finding form domestically to carry through into Ireland’s September fixtures. Teenage superstar Ferguson has scored four league goals in total this term so far – so his absence will be felt.. In the Championship, both Aaron Connolly and Will Keane have been among the goals for Hull City and Preston North End respectively.
Connolly has scored three goals in the second tier and Keane himself has four. The form of these attackers will ensure that Ireland will have confidence against the World Cup finalists on Thursday. Fine margins cost them a result last time the two sides met, but there is a strong feeling they could have a clinical edge this time around with in-form forwards among their ranks.
France and both teams to score (Yes) at 9/4
While we can expect a fired up Ireland side with in-form attackers to descend on Paris, the visitors had a golden opportunity to take points off France on home soil back in March. This time around they’re going to be playing one of the best teams in the world in their own backyard in front of packed out crowd. It is going to be very difficult for Ireland to disrupt Les Bleus’ rhythm inside Parc des Princes.
Although there is a growing feeling that we will see Ireland get on the scoresheet in this contest, France’s squad depth far outclasses their own and should a game not be going in their favour, they have many game-changers to choose from. Expect a home victory but also expect Ireland to get in on the goalscoring action, as they look to frustrate France yet again.