If the Republic of Ireland wants to avoid a ‘slow death’ against France in their opening Euro 2024 qualifier, they must combine ‘fire and ice’ to meet the might of the World Cup finalists. The Irish team faces the formidable French squad on Monday evening at the Aviva Stadium in a game they will have to be at their best to even take something away from. Stephen Kenny, the Ireland coach, is defiant about setting his team up conservatively and in response says, “we show – and we’ll need to show – fire and ice.” Kenny is confident in possession and knows that they must have tenacity and aggression while also having composure and calm during the game. Ireland will not change their way of playing to content only to lower the chances of winning; instead, they will focus on playing to their strengths and show the courage needed against France.
The Irish team knows they have to handle the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, and the manager reaffirms they have respect for their talents. While showing provisions, the team consistently backs themselves and has the conviction to play and combine tactics with courage. The Irish team’s skipper Seamus Coleman and wing-back Callum O’Dowda are nursing thigh and groin injuries respectively, which puts them in doubt for the game; Robbie Brady has been called to cover. France has been the best team in the world over the last eight years, consistently, getting to two World Cup finals, winning the World Cup, and losing the second one on penalties.
The game has the potential to result in Irish sporting folklore and bring nothing, but pride to the nation, but it could turn very ugly if it goes the wrong way.
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