Our football match prediction:
Stade de France will host Monday’s football game between France and Republic of Ireland. France did well to beat Russia in their last warm-up game and they are seen as hot favourites to win the friendly against Republic of Ireland. Alexandre Lacazette and Anthony Martial did not make the France World Cup squad, but coach Didier Deschamps has a number of top-class players to choose from and we predict they are going to prove their worth on the field. The Boys in Green, on the other hand, aim to bounce back from a 1-0 loss to Turkey, but upsetting les Tricolores at Stade de France is easier said than done. A man to watch in the home team will be Antoine Griezmann, who is enjoying yet another season to remember. Taking everything into account, we are tempted to put our money on Didier Deschamps’ troops.
Highlighted Player (N Golo Kante):
Born in Paris in 1991, N’Golo Kante spent his early career playing for French minnows Boulogne and Caen, but he didn’t need a lot of time to catch the eye of high-profile clubs. The holding midfielder was on the verge of joining Marseille in the summer of 2015 when Leicester City submitted a £5.6 million for his services and he eventually signed for the King Power Stadium outfit. Destiny appears to have played a part in the move as Kante would go on to become one of leading Premier League footballers in an unbelievable season that ended with the Foxes winning the Premiership trophy. Having deservedly been nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award, Kante would also receive the first ever call-up for the national team in March 2016, and he impressed in his first two appearances, scoring a goal in the 4-2 triumph over Russia. A combative midfielder with an amazing pair of lungs, Kante impressed Premier League fans and pundits alike, and he will probably go down as one of the best holding midfielders to have ever played for an English club.
Highlighted Team (Ireland):
Competing as an independent entity since 1953, Republic of Ireland have struggled to match the world’s best national teams ever since, although they did achieve several respectable results on the road. Their best ever result, the 1990 World Cup quarter-final, was achieved with a big smile from Lady Luck seeing that the Irish reached the last eight without winning a single match. They have since reached the last 16 stage at the 1994 and 2002 tournaments, while only qualifying for three European Championship finals (1988, 2012, 2016). The Irish were in the top 10 of the FIFA Rankings in 1993 and 1994, but have failed to repeat the success in the next twenty odd years, and it appears they are no closer to bridging the gap behind European powerhouses. Robbie Keane holds the record for most national team caps and goals at the same time, having bagged 67 in 143 appearances, whereas Niall Quinn, Steve Staunton, Damien Duff, Tony Cascarino and Don Givens are some of the other star players.