France vs Ireland Betting Prediction

Hostilities will not be in short supply when hosts France take on Republic of Ireland in the round of 16 this weekend. This encounter will be played at Parc Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday, June 26.

Being hosts always adds extra pressure but this supremely talented French side has managed to live up to those expectations so far. Placed in a group of Romania, Albania and Switzerland, France were expected to cruise through. They may not have dominated the matches outright but have been consistent throughout. It required flashes of brilliance to win some matches – Dimitri Payet’s goal against Romania – while it needed last gasp action from substitutes to win some – Antoine Griezmaan and Payet against Albania. On the whole, a return of seven points and top spot is not a bad achievement and Les Bleus should be quietly confident ahead of the stern tests that await them in knockouts. Concerns remain on their ability to break down teams as was evident against Albania but Didier Deschamps has enough cover in his squad to be dynamic as required. Their side of the knockout draw is packed with big names and France will have to be at their best to make it to finals.

Republic of Ireland took the much tougher route to the knockouts by picking one of the places available for third position teams. They started with a plucky draw against Sweden while their next game against Belgium was nothing but a disaster. The Red Devils rolled over Ireland 3-0 leaving the Irish with the envious task of overcoming Italy in their final game to keep their qualification hopes alive. The Republic achieved it with grit as a Robbie Brady goal was enough for them to win against the Italians. The fact that they were minutes away from the exit door before coming up with the winner speaks volume of the attitude of this side. What adds intrigue to the encounter is the bad blood between these two sides when a Thierry Henry handball denied the Republic a ticket to the 2009 World Cup. Although a lot has changed since then, thoughts of revenge adds spice to this knockout encounter.

Team form

France have lost just once in their last ten encounters winning eight in the process. The team has settled into a lovely rhythm this tournament with Payet playing the creative role to perfection. With just one goal conceded so far in the Euros, there is no doubt who the favorite for this encounter would be.

Republic of Ireland’s recent form has been inconsistent with just one win in the last six matches. Their record from the group stage is also not great but a win against Italy on the last matchday should skyrocket their confidence.

Key players and team news

France will be back to full strength after resting many regulars against Switzerland. Olivier Giroud should lead the line while Payet should continue on the left. Blaise Matuidi nad N’Golo Kante should also be back giving the hosts a familiar look.

Ireland have no injuries or suspensions to worry about which means they would be fielding their best XI too. A change of system could be on the cards while Robbie Brady will be key for them on the left. Both Shane Long and Wes Hoolahan could be involved from the start.

Betting advice

France have scored more than a goal in all eight of the past ten matches that they won. They have conceded just one goal in their last four matches while scoring seven. Payet has been brilliant for them and his only miss in the tournament was against Switzerland where he was unlucky. Backing him to find the net is a very safe option.

Northern Ireland scored a goal in nine of their previous ten encounters with the lone failure coming against Belgium in the group phase. Most of their games end up with under 2.5 goals considering their frugality in defense and attack. That could once again be the case this weekend.

Both teams have not scored or conceded a goal in the first half so far which makes a bet for clean sheet in the first half a very attractive bet. France has an edge in this encounter thanks to the talent at Deschamps’ disposal but it will be a low scoring encounter.

Best bet

Payet to be anytime goal scorer at odds of 3.25 with Betfred.