REPUBLIC OF IRELAND MANAGER Stephen Kenny has backed his young Ireland side to take 'risks' against France at the Aviva Stadium tonight.
Ireland faces an exceedingly difficult task against the likes of Kylian Mbappe and co in Dublin and will have it all do if they are to record a famous victory.
Ireland's last victory against France was in 1981, when Eoin Hand's side won 3-2 against a Michel Platini inspired Les Bleus' side.
The current French team are one of the best teams in the world and have an array of stars on their books.
Although Ireland will look to take the game to France, Kenny wants the Boys in Green to wise and practical when the sides meet at 7.45pm tonight.
“We should continue to take risks and not waver in any way from that, that's important, that's what the team is built on and that's critical,” said Kenny to media on Sunday.
“It’s finding the balance to be able to carry a threat but also not leave ourselves exposed.
🗣"He's an exceptional player." — Off The Ball (@offtheball) March 26, 2023
🗣"We have to back ourselves and have commitment in the way we play."
Stephen Kenny plans to balance ambition and practicality against France.
🗣"We will have provisions...they have a lot of incredible players."
Football with @SkyIreland pic.twitter.com/RDSLyYd5Yi
🗣"He's an exceptional player."
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) March 26, 2023
“We must make provisions to counter any counter attacks that they have, and then have balance and cover.
“It's an electric night and the crowd don't need a rallying call from me, they understand the traditions of Ireland and France.
“They understand the connection with the players and the supporters - you can feel it growing and it's very powerful.
“The crowd will really get behind the team, it will be a special occasion and a huge challenge, there's no doubt about that.”
France come into the game having beaten the Netherlands 4-0 in their opening game of the group.
Didier Deschamp's side will be brimming with confidence. They are expected by many to win tonight.
Let's hope Ireland have a plan up their sleeves and the French leave with egg on their faces.
The game is live from 7.45pm and can be seen on RTE TWO.
Here is Ireland's 23-man squad for the clash.
IRELAND’S MATCHDAY SQUAD v 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), James McClean (Wigan Athletic)
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) Mark Sykes (Bristol City). Jamie McGrath (Dundee United)
Forwards: Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United), Michael Obafemi (Burnley), Evan Ferguson (Brighton and Hove Albion), Adam Idah (Norwich City), Mikey Johnston (Vitoria, on loan from Celtic)