Republic of Ireland vs France: Preview and Prediction

France defeated the Netherlands 4-0 in their opening encounter

In matchday 2 of the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers, France will play against the Republic of Ireland in a Group B fixture. The match will be played in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, on Monday.

France returned after their heartbreaking 2022 FIFA World Cup final defeat against Argentina in the most spectacular way possible. In their opening match of the campaign, they thrashed the Netherlands 4-0 to set the tone for their journey.

On the other hand, this will be Republic of Ireland’s opening match in the qualifiers. They made back-to-back appearances in Euros from 2012 to 2016, but that run ended when they could not make it to the 2020 event. Hence, they will be desperate to get back to the big stage in a year’s time.

Current Form

Republic of Ireland has had a roller-coaster ride recently, where they have managed to get a few surprising wins under their belt, but have also suffered unexpected defeats. Stephen Kenny’s team has played 11 matches in the last year, where they won five games.

But besides that, they also lost four matches, one of them being Armenia, and drew the other two games. In preparation for their qualifiers campaign, the boys in green took on Latvia in a friendly match a few days ago, where they secured a difficult but deserved 3-2 victory.

France’s story is a lot different as compared to its opponents. They have had a much better run over the last year, where they won 9 of their 16 matches. Les Bleus did lose five games, most notably the World Cup final in Qatar, and drew two matches.

But Didier Deschamps’ men will be coming into this fixture with great confidence, as they defeated the Netherlands by a convincing 4-0 margin in their last match. A Kylian Mbappe brace and goals from Antoine Griezmann and Dayot Upamecano helped France have an easy day out in Saint-Denis.

Head to Head Record

The head-to-head records between these two teams are expectedly inclined in favour of France. Out of the 17 previous meetings, Les Bleus have won eight games while Republic of Ireland won only on four occasions. The other five matches ended in draws.

The last meeting was in a friendly, back in May 2018. Deschamps’ team had an easy 2-0 win in that match at the Stade de France in Paris, thanks to first-half goals from Olivier Giroud and Nabil Fekir.

Team News

Eduardo Camavinga could be handed a start in this match

Though his team won the friendly against Latvia, it was not an entirely convincing performance and hence Kenny could be tempted to tweak his starting XI. Youngster Andrew Omobamidele was given a chance in the last match, but in this game, the Irish tactician could go with the more experienced John Egan.

Will Smallbone did not have the greatest of games against Stoke City and was later substituted. He could feature only on the bench in this match, with Preston North End’s Jason Knight getting a chance. Besides that, Michael Obafemi was also not too impressive, but he is expected to retain his place given Ireland’s lack of quality options in the striking position.

After having crossed the bigger hurdle in the form of Netherlands, it is likely that Deschamps will be making changes to his starting XI, especially giving rest days to those who feature for the full 90 minutes against the Oranje. The most notable name from the list is Mbappe, who might have to make way for Moussa Diaby.

Besides that, both central defenders Ibrahima Konate and Upamecano played 90 minutes and ended up receiving yellow cards. As a precautionary measure, we could see a new defensive pairing for Axel Disasi and Jean-Clair Todibo in this match. In midfield, Adrien Rabiot received a yellow card and could be replaced by the exciting Eduardo Camavinga.

Predicted Starting XIs

Republic of Ireland (3-5-2): Caiomhin Kelleher; Josh Egan, Nathan Collins, Dara O’Shea; Matt Doherty, Jason Knight, Jayson Molumby, Alan Browne, Callum O’Dowda; Michael Obafemi, Evan Ferguson.

France (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Jules Kounde, Axel Disasi, Jean-Clair Todibo, Theo Hernandez; Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga; Kingsley Coman, Antoine Griezmann, Moussa Diaby; Randal Kolo Muani.


There cannot be any comparison between the two teams in terms of strength on paper, whereas the formbook is also in favour of France. Hence, we have predicted Les Bleus to have an easy win in this fixture.