Thursday, May 30, 2024

France v Ireland: TV details, kick-off time, team news and more

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When is it on?

The Republic of Ireland are playing France in their opening Euro 2025 qualifier on Friday, April 5th at the Saint-Symphorien Stadium in Metz. Kick-off is at 8.10pm.

How can I watch it?

You can watch the game on RTÉ2, coverage begins at 7.35pm.

What is the team news for the game?

Anna Patten will join up with the squad after receiving international clearance from Fifa. The 24-year-old defender required a change of association from England as she had a number of underage caps, including at Under-21 level. Patten’s Irish roots connect back to her grandfather, from Falcarragh in Donegal, and her grandmother from Lettermore in Galway.

Defender Niamh Fahey and midfielder Tyler Toland return to the squad after missing the last two games. Sinead Farrelly (quad) and Jamie Finn (knee) are unavailable.

The great defensive leader and captain of the French, Wendie Renard, is back for France after missing three months through thigh surgery.

Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Grace Moloney (London City Lionesses), Sophie Whitehouse (Lewes).

Defenders: Jessie Stapleton (Reading – on loan from West Ham United), Diane Caldwell (FC Zurich), Louise Quinn (Birmingham City), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Aoife Mannion (Manchester United), Caitlin Hayes (Celtic), Anna Patten (Aston Villa), Megan Campbell (London City Lionesses).

Midfielders: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Bristol City), Ruesha Littlejohn (London City Lionesses), Tyler Toland (Blackburn Rovers), Lily Agg (Birmingham City), Heather Payne (Everton), Jess Ziu (West Ham United), Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City), Izzy Atkinson (Crystal Palace).

Forwards: Kyra Carusa (San Diego Wave), Abbie Larkin (Crystal Palace), Amber Barrett (Standard Liege), Leanne Kiernan (Liverpool), Emily Murphy (Wake Forest University).

France squad

Goalkeepers: Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (Juventus), Constance Picaud (Paris Saint-Germain), Solène Durand (Sassuolo)

Defenders: Wendie Renard (Lyon), Griedge Mbock (Lyon), Sakina Karchaoui (Paris Saint-Germain), Ève Périsset (Chelsea), Élisa De Almeida (Paris Saint-Germain), Selma Bacha (Lyon), Estelle Cascarino (Juventus), Maëlle Lakrar (Montpellier), Thiniba Samoura (Paris Saint-Germain)

Midfielders: Amandine Henry (Angel City FC), Grace Geyoro (Paris Saint-Germain), Kenza Dali (Aston Villa), Sandie Toletti (Real Madrid), Léa Le Garrec (Fleury)

Forwards: Eugénie Le Sommer (Lyon), Kadidiatou Diani (Lyon), Delphine Cascarino (Lyon), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (Paris Saint-Germain), Sandy Baltimore (Paris Saint-Germain), Vicki Bècho (Lyon), Julie Dufour (Paris FC)

What to watch out for from an Ireland perspective?

A change from free-flowing football to a certain level of pragmatism, without losing all of their attacking threat, will be the order of the day for manager Eileen Gleeson. Ireland have truly been given the group of death to end all group of deaths here, against three of the top four teams in the world.

Ireland got somewhat of a wake-up call in their last friendly against Wales when they lost 2-0 and such a performance won’t work against a team the calibre of France. Stopping France from playing their usual football will be the aim, a low-scoring draw would be a fantastic result away from home. The return of Denise O’Sullivan should help from an attacking perspective, while the return of Fahey should help the defensive end.

How is the France team looking?

It is a star-studded France team, with some of the world’s best players in each position – there is a reason why their clubs Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain are in the Champions League semi-finals. There are few better full-backs in the world than Selma Bacha and Sakina Karchaoui, few better midfielders than Grace Geyoro, while in the forward line they have an embarrassment of riches with Kadidiatou Diani, Delphine Cascarino, Antoinette Katoto and Eugénie Le Sommer to choose from. Le Sommer scored twice against Ireland in a World Cup warm-up game last summer. A daunting task ahead.

Their management is less secure than their playing talent though, with Hervé Renard to step down from his role after the Paris Olympics, with the ambition of finding a team to bring to the 2026 men’s World Cup after managing Morocco in 2018 and Saudi Arabia in 2022. Well, we know one association that is desperately seeking a new manager of their men’s team …

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