Euro 2016: France vs Republic of Ireland – Live stream info, probable line-up, head to head(h2h) record and match preview
The one constant feature of Euro 2016 has been the glut of late goals in the competition. We saw Portugal overcome Croatia thanks to a late winner in extra-time and the teams involved in this round-of-16 clash at the Stade de Lyon have had some luck with goals coming during the end of games.
France needed late goals against Romania and Albania to register wins and ended up by topping Group A while Ireland’s passage into the knockout round had a lot of drama involved as they drew with Sweden and lost to Belgium in their first two games before coming up with an 85th-minute winner against Italy.
There is a lot of history between the sides as everyone remembers the playoff win for France for the 2010 World Cup and whichever team progresses from this tie would end up facing the winner of the England vs Iceland clash.
The France vs Republic of Ireland clash will take place from 18:30 IST (Sunday) and the live streaming of the game can be seen on SonyLIV. Follow France vs Republic of Ireland, Euro 2016 Live Score and Commentary with Sportskeeda. The match will be telecasted live on Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD in India, Fox Sports in the USA and Premier Sports in the UK. The match will be played at the Stade de Lyon, Lyon.
The French side haven’t been able to click but are unbeaten in the competition and have a full strength side to select from. France coach Didier Deschamps could revert to the team that faced Romania in the first game and that would mean a midfield of Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante and Blaise Matuidi.
Although France go into this game as the favourites, Didier Deschamps isn’t taking the plucky Irish side lightly. He spoke to the media before the game and spoke about their fighting spirit.
“Ireland have a lot of heart, they work very hard – but it's not just that, there's some good footballers in that team. In their first three matches, they kept the ball on the ground even though they play a more direct game, as they have forwards who are suited to that style and pick up the second ball.
“Mental strength doesn't make you score goals, but it is important. Ireland are an example of that – they show great solidarity and hard work. We often talk about the famous 'fighting spirit' but they don't just do that – they give everything. It's almost genetic. They're ready to go into battle, as a unit, and they will fight all the way for each other. That's why I know this will be a tricky match.”
The Republic of Ireland might be without the services of Stephen Ward, who is could be out with an ankle injury and Stoke City forward, Jonathan Walters, is also a big doubt for the game but barring that, there really aren’t many concerns.
Martin O’Neill was positive ahead of the clash against the French and expected the same level of intensity and energy to come from his Irish side when they beat Italy in their last group game.
“We'll go into the game with some confidence on the back of the Italy performance, which was very good. The approach is within ourselves. You know you're going to come up against top-quality players, whether they're in midfield, forwards or about the best defenders going.
“The players who played [against Italy] showed that level and intensity, which they kept up for 90 minutes – that takes its toll and rest has been the most important thing for us. It's a matter of ticking over; it's tournament football and you've got to rest up. We have to cope with it, get on with it, and if the players have recovered in time to show the same effort and zeal as the other night, we'll be ready for it.”
France: Lloris; Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra; Pogba, Kante, Matuidi; Griezmann, Giroud, Payet.
Republic of Ireland: Randolph; Coleman, O'Shea, Duffy, Brady; McClean, Whelan, McCarthy, Hendrick; Murphy, Long.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Republic of Ireland: W-L-D-L-D
France go into the game with a lot of confidence having lost just one game in their last ten outings. France are also unbeaten in seven international games in Lyon and even beat Denmark in the 1998 World Cup in a group stage game.
Ireland, on the other hand, had to squeeze through their group and finished as one of the best third-placed teams. Martin O’Neill’s side have won three and lost three of their last ten games and would need a little Irish luck to overturn France.
Head to head
France and Ireland have met 16 times and it is the French who hold the advantage having racked up six wins against the opposition. Ireland though have four wins to their names but Les Bleus have the better record in recent times.
The 2010 World Cup playoff was mired in controversy as a Thierry Henry handball goal played a huge role in the French making to the tournament and left Irish hearts broken. Didier Deschamps’ men have the advantage of not having lost to their rivals in their last five games.
France also have not won a Euro knockout tie since 2000 while this is the first time Ireland have made it to the knockout round of the competition.
France start the game as favourites and will be under immense pressure to perform in front of the home crowd. Ireland though will be hopeful that France don’t play free-flowing football and will try to hit the home side on the counter-attack.
It should be a tight contest and the odd goal should give France the victory, purely because of the quality they possess.
France 1-0 Republic of Ireland