How to Watch France vs. Ireland: Live Stream, TV Channel
France will start their final run of friendly matches ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Monday, as they host the Republic of Ireland at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris.
Les Bleus will also face Italy and the United States before their tournament opener against Australia on June 16.
Monday’s friendly will start at 8 p.m. BST (3 p.m. ET), and ESPN will provide coverage via ESPN Deportes and ESPN 3.
Here is a look ahead at Monday’s match.
Will Deschamps Tinker with his Formation?
As explained by ESPN’s Julien Laurens, France manager Didier Deschamps is not known for his adventurous spirit and has stuck with his trusted 4-4-2 formation for years. Les Bleus have tons of depth in the wide areas, though, and a slight shift could be necessary to use it.
Olivier Giroud’s lack of playing time immediately following his move to Chelsea had some wondering whether he would have the match rhythm to function as a sole striker in Russia, but he came on well towards the end of the season to more than earn his spot.
Per The Atlantic’s Michael Signorelli, he adds a simple but effective solution to certain problems big teams are bound to face:
Antoine Griezmann works best in a two-striker approach, however, and has never been a great fit as a winger. He may have to get used to such a role if his move to Barcelona goes through, per AS’ Javier G. Matallanas, but for now it’s safer to play him alongside a powerful forward.
Ireland will present a good opportunity to experiment a bit, given their strong organisation at the back and good size in defence.
Ireland have little to play for after missing out on a World Cup spot, losing to Denmark in the play-offs.
Manager Martin O’Neill made a handful surprises with his team selection as a result, knowing these friendlies won’t count for much. Perhaps the biggest surprise came in goal, where he opted for Shane Supple, a former GAA player:
With Darren Randolph and Keiren Westwood unavailable, the three goalkeepers called up have just two caps between them. Colin Doyle (Bradford City), Conor O’Malley (Peterborough United) and Supple (Bohemians) are all relative unknowns who play their club football at lower levels.