Ireland will play their fourth UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying match against France in Paris later this evening.
Stephen Kenny's side will be looking to avoid two defeats against the opposition after their narrow 1-0 defeat against France in March, as Mike Maignon denied Nathan Collins' brilliant header in the final moments.
A loss for Ireland will only increase the pressure on Stephen Kenny ahead of the Netherlands game on Sunday.
On the injury front, Evan Ferguson has been ruled out of both matches against France and the Netherlands following assessment from the Ireland medical team and has returned home. Matt Doherty is suspended for the France fixture but will be available for the Netherlands match on Sunday. John Egan, who suffered a knock while in action for Sheffield United at the weekend, has been confirmed fit to play at the MD-1 press conference by Stephen Kenny, while Caoimhin Kelleher sat out the final training session before the match.
Under-pressure Ireland boss Kenny remarked that because of the number of absentees in the squad, it would be a golden chance for some of the fringe players to get a run out.
"I don't look at it like that (in terms of being unlucky). I'm very privileged to manage the Ireland team, I always have been. We're obviously missing a number of players, five attacking players in particular: Michael Obafemi, Evan Ferguson, Callum Robinson, Troy Parrott, and Mikey Johnston," he said.
Finally we're back... 𝐌𝐀𝐓𝐂𝐇-𝐃𝐀𝐘 🤩
⚽️ | France v Ireland
🏆 | @EURO2024 Qualifying
⌚️ | 7:45pm (8:45pm local)
📍 | Parc des Princes, Paris
📺 | @RTEsoccer
1,700 Irish supporters set to descend on Paris this evening 😍 pic.twitter.com/mnrEH5rZ12
— Ireland Football ⚽️🇮🇪 (@IrelandFootball) September 7, 2023
"But it gives other players the opportunity to play, and that must be embraced. Over the last few years, we've given 18 players their debut, and because of that, we've got an extended pool of players to pick from, and one of them can now step up.
"We're excited about the game; some people don't give us much of a chance, but we've got a firm belief in ourselves, and we give ourselves every chance."
John Egan, who will captain the side, added that Ireland can take confidence from the reverse fixture in Dublin, where Ireland lost 1-0 in a brave defeat.
"We know they're a top team, but we've got to embrace these games.
"I think we embraced it in Dublin; we put in a really good performance that we can take a lot of confidence from. I think we deserved a draw that night, only for their keeper's world-class save at the end; we might have got that.
"As defenders, as players, as a squad, we have to embrace it; it's one of the toughest games in professional football, against France, and we have to perform to our maximum to get a result, but we've a lot of belief in ourselves as a squad.
"We are always brilliantly prepared for games; we have to make sure we go out and perform to the best of our ability."
Republic of Ireland Squad - FranceGoalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Southampton), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (Stoke City, on loan from AFC Bournemouth). Defenders: Festy Ebosele (Udinese), Enda Stevens (Stoke City), Ryan Manning (Southampton), James McClean (Wrexham), Shane Duffy (Norwich City), John Egan (Sheffield United), Nathan Collins (Brentford), Dara O'Shea (Burnley), Darragh Lenihan (Middlesbrough), Andrew Omobamidele (Nottingham Forest). Midfielders: Josh Cullen (Burnley), Jayson Molumby (West Bromwich Albion), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Will Smallbone (Southampton), Jason Knight (Bristol City), Jamie McGrath (Aberdeen). Forwards: Adam Idah (Norwich City), Will Keane (Preston North End), Aaron Connolly (Hull City), Chiedozie Ogbene (Luton Town). UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifying - Fixtures 07/09 - France v Republic of Ireland, Parc des Princes, 7.45pm (8.45pm local) 10/09 - Republic of Ireland v Netherlands, Aviva Stadium, 7.45pm
Match DetailsCompetition: UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifying Fixture: France v Republic of Ireland Date: Thursday, September 7 Kick-off: 7.45pm (8.45pm local time) Venue: Parc des Princes, Paris TV: RTE
Referee: Urs Schnyder (SUI)Assistant Referee 1: Marco Zürcher (SUI) Assistant Referee 2: Benjamin Zürcher (SUI) Fourth Official: Sven Wolfensberger (SUI) Video Assistant Referee: Bastian Dankert (GER) Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Lukas Fähndrich (SUI)