The Republic of Ireland face their biggest test at securing their Euro 2024 qualification when they face unbeaten France this week.
Ireland have picked up three points from three games in Group B and are nine adrift of the two-time world champions at the top.
Stephen Kenny’s side, who are level with the Netherlands in third having played a game more, sit three behind Greece in the second and final qualifying spot.
The Boys in Green will be out for revenge against Les Blues, having fallen to a 1-0 defeat when the two sides met in Dublin in March.
France vs Ireland: How to follow
This Euro 2024 qualifier will be played on Thursday, September 7.
The Group B game will be played at the Parc des Princes in Paris, with kick-off set for 7:45pm.
It will be broadcast live on Viaplay Sports 2 with their coverage starting at 7:35pm.
Fans can subscribe to Viaplay for £14.99 per month and can watch the game on their TV or website.
France vs Ireland: Team news
The hosts will be missing Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate due to injury which may open the door for William Saliba to start.
France could hand Lucas Hernandez his first international start since the World Cup while Kylian Mbappe is set to lead the attack.
Ireland will be without star striker Evan Ferguson, who injured his knee after scoring a hat-trick in Brighton’s 3-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday.
Republic captain Seamus Coleman and Michael Obafemi are all already sidelined, while Matt Doherty is out through suspension.
France vs Ireland: What has been said?
“I honestly feel we have the quality in the squad to go and hurt them and get something from the game,” said Brentford star Nathan Collins.
He added: “Everybody knows how tough France are, but as I’ve said before the manager and staff give us so much confidence that we are ready to go to war with them.
“We caused France so many problems at home and we were defensively really good.
“Maybe in the first 30 minutes we get a goal and put them on the back foot.”
France vs Ireland: Match facts
- Evan Ferguson has had a hand in three goals in four international starts for the Republic of Ireland (two goals, one assist). After netting in the last game, he is looking to become only the fourth teenager to score in consecutive appearances for Eire, after David Connolly (1996), Ian Harte (1996) and Robbie Keane (twice, 1999 and 2000) and at 18, the youngest to ever do so.
- Kylian Mbappé has been involved in 15 goals in his last 10 starts for France (12 goals, 3 assists), although he is yet to score in two appearances against the Republic of Ireland, having six shots without success.
- Excluding play-offs, each of Republic of Ireland’s last nine victories in European Championship qualifying have been against teams beginning with ‘G’ (5 v Gibraltar, 3 v Georgia, 1 v Germany). They’re winless in their last nine against nations beginning with any other letter, since beating Armenia 2-1 in 2011.
- Only Austria (76) have had more in this European Championship qualifying campaign than France (74), with Les Bleus having 51 shots from inside the box, the most of any nation.
- Following their 3-0 win over Gibraltar in June, Republic of Ireland are looking for consecutive wins in competitive internationals for the first time since March 2019.
- France have lost just one of their last 23 European Championship qualifying matches (W18 D4), a 2-0 away defeat at Turkey in June 2019. Their last home defeat was against Belarus in September 2010, winning nine and drawing two on home soil since.
- Republic of Ireland are winless in their last seven away games against France (D3 L4) since a 2-0 win in a friendly in May 1937 (as FAI) with goals from Jackie Brown and Davy Jordan.
- France are unbeaten in their last eight matches against the Republic of Ireland (W5 D3) since losing 3-2 in a World Cup qualifier in October 1981.
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