Republic of Ireland are set to start their UEFA EURO 2024 qualification campaign in front of a sold-out Aviva Stadium against World Cup finalists France.Ireland are set to welcome France to the Aviva Stadium for the opening game of the campaign, with kick-off at 7.45pm as Ireland look to begin with an historic result against France.
Stephen Kenny's side come into the game on back of a 3-2 win over Latvia in midweek with goals from Callum O'Dowda, Evan Ferguson and Chiedozie Ogbene.
Fixture: Republic of Ireland v FranceCompetition: UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying
When is it onDate: Monday, March 27 Kick-off: 7.45pm
Where is it onVenue: Aviva Stadium
What TV stationTV: RTE & ViaPlay
Referee: Artur Dias (POR)Assistant Referee 1: Paulo Soares (POR) Assistant Referee 2: Pedro Ribeiro (POR) Fourth Official: Fabio Verissimo (POR) Video Assistant Referee: Tiago Martins (POR) Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Luis Godinho (POR)
Ireland v France: A fixture steeped in history
Believe. 🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/duyTwQYC7K
— Ireland Football ⚽️🇮🇪 (@IrelandFootball) March 26, 2023
Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has confirmed that captain Seamus Coleman is in contention for the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier against France.
Coleman trained with the squad on Sunday, March 26 ahead of the France game and could be named in the match-day squad for the qualifier at the Aviva Stadium on Monday, March 27.
The Ireland manager also confirmed that Callum O'Dowda has suffered a groin strain which makes him a doubt for the France game so Kenny has called up Preston North End defender Robbie Brady for cover.
Finally, Kenny confirmed that Adam Idah is 'fully fit' for the France match and is in contention for a starting spot after coming through training ahead of the match.
What he said - Manager Stephen Kenny
On Seamus Coleman: “It's not so much his experience, it's that he's playing well himself at the moment. Experience is a factor, but his performances for Everton have been very good.
“For footballing reasons, he merits his place in the team because he has been playing very well for Everton and had an injury free run and been able to train regularly over the last number of months and performed very well for Everton."
On France: "We've been working on a way of playing for the last two years, very comfortable in possession, as comfortable as any team in Europe now in possession.
“Why would we change now? Why would we take a step back now? This is the time that the team needs to show conviction, when the lights come on in the Aviva and the atmosphere is rocking as it will ever be and as electric as it will ever be.
"And France, one of the best teams in the world coming at us, do we just suddenly change and not have the courage to do that? And just accept a slow death? Definitely not. And I think we'll show, and we'll need to show, fire and ice."
What he said - Midfielder Josh Cullen
"Like the manager has said, it is the way we play and we want the ball, to be comfortable on the ball, and we're not going change the way we play because of the opposition.
"It's the way I play so it is really important to stick to the principles tomorrow night.
"Nothing changes for us. We play the way we play and I'll try and do my job the best I can like I do every time I play for my country."
WATCH THE PRESS CONFERENCE ON FAI TV HERE
Opta Facts - Republic of Ireland v France
- Republic of Ireland are winless in seven games against France (D3 L4) since beating them 3-2 at Lansdowne Road in October 1981 in a World Cup qualifier.
- Republic of Ireland have started their European Championship qualifying campaign with a win in each of their last three campaigns, beating Armenia in 2010, Georgia in 2014 and Gibraltar in 2019. This is the first time they’ve started a campaign at home since 1998, winning 2-0 versus Croatia.
- Evan Ferguson scored on his first international start for the Republic of Ireland in their 3-2 win over Latvia, aged just 18 years and 154 days. No player has scored in consecutive appearances for the Boys in Green before turning 19, while the last player to score in their first two starts was Stephen Ireland in 2007.
- Kylian Mbappé has scored 38 goals in all competitions for France, with his brace against Netherlands last time out moving him into fifth place in the all-time highest goalscorers for Les Bleus. Half of these goals have come in his last 16 appearances, as many as he'd netted in his first 51 internationals.
Republic of Ireland Squad - France
Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Southampton), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Atletico Madrid), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Nathan Collins (Wolverhampton Wanderers), John Egan (Sheffield United), Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Callum O'Dowda (Cardiff City), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Robbie Brady (Preston North End).
Midfielders: Josh Cullen (Burnley), Jayson Molumby (West Bromwich Albion), Jeff Hendrick (Reading), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jason Knight (Derby County), Will Smallbone (Stoke City, on loan from Southampton), Jamie McGrath (Dundee United), Mark Sykes (Bristol City).
Forwards: Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United), Michael Obafemi (Burnley), Evan Ferguson (Brighton and Hove Albion), Adam Idah (Norwich City), Troy Parrott (Preston North End, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Will Keane (Wigan Athletic), Mikey Johnston (Vitoria, on loan from Celtic)
Results & Fixtures22/03 - Republic of Ireland 3-2 Latvia, International Friendly, 7.45pm 27/03 - Republic of Ireland v France, UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying, 7.45pm
What a way to start a week 😍
⚽️ | Republic of Ireland v France
🏆 | @EURO2024
📍 | @AVIVAStadium
⌚️ | 7.45pm
📺 | @RTEsoccer & @ViaplaySportsUK
Under the lights at the Aviva, nothing better 💚 pic.twitter.com/E2uWorLG0L
— Ireland Football ⚽️🇮🇪 (@IrelandFootball) March 27, 2023