France vs Ireland
Competition: International friendly
Date: 28 May 2018
Kick-off: 21:00 CET
Reading news about France’s preparations for the World Cup finals, an issue that keeps coming up is how Didier Deschamps will manage to get the best of Paul Pogba. The… irony of it is that the same question mark has been persisting for at least three years now, even before Euro 2016, hosted by France themselves, and lost (in the final, to Portugal). Pogba-aside, France will have to travel to Russia without Dimitri Payet. He was injured, he managed to start the Europa League final “his” Olympique Marseille played against Atlético Madrid, but soon had to leave the pitch. It was all over for him, very early, over, not just that final in Lyon, but the World Cup finals as well. At his age (early 30s), playing in Qatar in four years feels… practically impossible. France will be facing Australia, Peru and Denmark in their group, in the finals.
The Irish are back to Stade de France, the place where in 2009, Thierry Henry stole from them the opportunity to play in the 2010 World Cup finals, in South Africa. Henry’s… infamous handball that led to a goal, has not been forgotten in Ireland, and I doubt it will ever be forgotten. Today’s team, under Michael O’Neill, is dealing with a… goalkeeper crisis. Incredible as this may look, Darren Randolph, Rob Elliot and Keiren Westwood, all three, the Republic of Ireland’s trio of goalkeepers, are out due to injuries. Back in March, in a friendly game against Turkey, Colin Doyle got his second cap in ten years(!), and should start this game as well. The Irish made it to the playoffs, they even earned a goalless draw in Denmark, in the first leg, but the return leg turned into a… nightmare.
Previous five matches:
Russia vs France 1-3
France vs Colombia 2-3
Germany vs France 2-2
France vs Wales 2-0
France vs Belarus 2-1
Turkey vs Republic of Ireland 1-0
Republic of Ireland vs Denmark 1-5
Denmark vs Republic of Ireland 0-0
Wales vs Republic of Ireland 0-1
Republic of Ireland vs Moldova 2-0
France’s next game is on Friday, against Italy. A day later, the Republic of Ireland will be facing the United States.
France vs Ireland: Head to head Stats
France have hosted the Republic of Ireland seven times in the past, but have won only three of those games. Three have ended in a draw, and the Irish have celebrated one victory. Total goals, 7-4.
France vs Ireland: Prediction
France’s win pays just 1.16. Betting on goals makes much more sense, I reckon.
France vs Ireland: Betting Tips
Most of the times, when a team’s win pays just 1.16, you have “over 2.5 goals” very low. In this case, it pays a decent 1.80, mostly because it’s… the Republic of Ireland that are visiting France, a team well-known for being a tough nut to break (with exceptions, obviously). Personally, I like the chances of that “over 2.5 goals”, counting on the hosts to look very enthusiastic in the first of a series of friendly games before the World Cup finals.
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