Sunday, June 4, 2023

Prediction: Ireland vs France

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 26 Mar 2023


Verdict: Kylian Mbappe to score

Best odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

Ireland are set to welcome France to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Monday evening, within round two of Group B of the Euro 2024 qualifications, which also contains Netherlands, Greece and Gibraltar.

Republic of Ireland

Ireland missed the last European championship, but they took part in the previous two, and having last appeared there in 2016 when they reached the round of 16, they’ll surely do the best they can to return to the elite of the continent. On the other hand, they will be aware of the size of the task they face, given the quality of some of the teams in the group. They couldn’t qualify for the World Cup, though, finishing behind Serbia and Portugal in their qualifying group.

Stephen Kenny’s team were free in the opening round of the campaign, which means this will be the first and the only competitive match they play this month. They did, however, play against Latvia in the friendly game on Wednesday at the Aviva, which they won 3-2. Callum O’Dowda (6′) and Evan Ferguson (17′) put their team two goals ahead, but Roberts Uldrikis (33′) and Arturs Zjuzins (45+1′) set the score back level before the break. The winning goal for Ireland was the work of Chiedozie Ogbene (65′).

Team News

Kenny will likely learn if captain Seamus Coleman is available at the last possible moment. The Everton right-back suffered a thigh injury in the Toffees’ recent Premier League draw against Chelsea, and at the moment, his name is under the heading ‘doubts’.

Josh Cullen and Jason Knight were also spared against Latvia, but the two midfielders are now in contention.

Gavin Bazunu is likely to start ahead of Caoimhin Kelleher between the posts, even though the Liverpool number two played against Latvia. John Egan, Nathan Collins and Dara O’Shea are expected to form the back three, with Matt Doherty set to take Coleman’s place on the right, and O’Dowda on the left. The middle of the park will be the task of Cullen, Knight and Jayson Molumby. Ferguson will be joined by Michael Obafemi in attack.


France appear to have recovered fully from the World Cup heartbreak, having lost the final to Argentina on penalties. They took their frustration mercilessly on Netherlands in the first round on Friday, with Antoine Griezmann, Dayot Upamecano and Kylian Mbappe (twice) on target, and Mike Maignan making light work of Memphis Depay’s stoppage time penalty in a 4-0 victory at the Stade de France. Obviously the favourites of the group, Didier Deschamp’s men won’t be taking any prisoners in these qualifications, though it has to be said that the Dutch defence didn’t cover itself in glory in the French capital.

Following the retirement of Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris from international football, Deschamps awarded the captain’s armband to Mbappe, and the decision reportedly prompted a reaction from Griezmann at first, who apparently believed he would be in line for the honor of captaining his country. However, the claims of a dressing room quarrel appear to have been speculative at best – journalists drawing their own conclusions from what they perceived as “body language” – and were quickly played down by Mbappe himself.

Team News

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has also retired from international football, as has Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, but AC Olivier Giroud hasn’t yet to call time on representing his country at the age of 36. The AC Milan veteran could start on Monday, but he is more likely to be on the bench.

With Maignan in goal, Ibrahima Konate and Upamecano are set to continue as the centre-back pair, with Jules Kounde on the right and Theo Hernandez on the left. Aurelien Tchouameni should pair up with Adrien Rabiot in the middle of the park, while the trio of Mbappe, Griezmann and Kingsley Coman plays just behind Kolo Muani upfront.


France shouldn’t really have too much trouble with putting three more points on the board in Dublin. Mbappe has obviously taken his new responsibility as the captain very seriously, and the Irish will have a hard evening trying to neutralize his vast quality.

Verdict: Kylian Mbappe to score

Best odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: 888sport


Veselin Trajkovic

Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.



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