Ireland vs France – World Cup 2010 Qualifying Play-Off

10th November 2009 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Previews & Predictions
World Cup Previews & Predictions

November 14th
Croke Park
Kick Off: 7pm

Ireland vs France – World Cup 2010 Qualifying Play-Off

Some good news ahead of Ireland’s World Cup 2010 Qualifier against France on November 14, is that midfielder Damien Duff has regained fitness. Fulham’s Duff returned to action, and it means that Republic of Ireland boss Giovani Trapattoni has all of his core players available to chose from ahead of the crucial first leg.

The Irish will enjoy home advantage for the first leg, and will need to improve on their defensive record by trying to keep a clean sheet to take back to France for the second leg. That could be the all important factor in the overall scenario, as it is more than likely France will find the back of the net, with the array of talent they have in the attacking department. In only two of the 10 qualifying games did Ireland keep out the opposition. It was only in the 2-2 draw against Italy in the final Group game, that Ireland shipped more than one goal. That means eight of the 10 games, they conceded at least one goal, while not immense, it points to a weakness that France’s attacking power could expose.

There will be a big difference up front. France scored 18 times compared to Ireland’s 12 during the Group stage. Les Blues’ boss Raymond Domenech has Thierry Henry, Franck Ribery, Andre Pierre Gignac, Nicolas Anelka and Lassana Diarra available as goalscoring threats. The French lost one game in Group 8, that being their opening fixture away in Austria. After that, they comfortably, if not spectacularly negotiated their way into second place, finishing behind Serbia. They were helped along by keeping four clean sheets.

The home crowd will play their part on Saturday, and the Irish should go into the matches in good spirit. They finished runners up in Group 8 behind the World Champions Italy, and did not suffer a qualifying defeat. The two drawn matches with Italy, should be the inspiration which they should draw from, as in both the games, the Irish had chances to win the encounters. In the game in Dublin, only a late resilient goal from the Italians saved their blushes. Ireland will play with a lot of passion, and will cause problems for France at Croke Park, and ex-Chelsea player Damien Duff is one of the vital components to getting in behind the French defence.

Trapattoni has stuck largely to his guns with selection of his squad, rewarding the players who have gotten through the Group Stages to this point. There had been much outcry of Trapattoni’s comments over Blackburn’s Steven Reid who is left out, and Steve Finnan, Andy Reid and Clinton Morrison have all missed out on places after recovering from long term injuries. The Italian is keen to keep the group and team spirit together, but Duff’s inclusion is different, for his has contributed some important time in the Group qualifying matches.

Tottenham’s Robbie Keane will be welcoming the service that Duff can deliver. Although not on great goalscoring form for his club, Keane is arguably the Republic of Ireland’s biggest goalscoring threat, having banged in five goals during qualifying for his nation. The Play-off format is the same as most two-legged competition affairs, where aggregate winner progresses, with away goals counting double in the case of an aggregate draw. It will be extra time and penalties at the end of the second leg if everything is on par at that point.

Ireland v France: First Leg Match Odds
France to win: 6/4 at Totesport
Draw: 11/5 at Stan James
Ireland to win: 21/10 at Bet365

Betting Advice: Could be a great night at Croke Park, but the French are going to give the Irish a good game, and probably really push at stages for that vital away goal. They will come away with 1-1 draw and be happy. Ireland do not concede a lot of goals, and France are not often more than good for two.
Ireland v France 1-1 draw will fetch 11/2 at Bet365

To Qualify Odds:
France: 4/11 at Victor Chandler
Ireland: 5/2 at SkyBet


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