Soccer Scene

Preview: France - Republic of Ireland
World Cup Play Off
18.11.2009 at 21:00 - Stade de France

It is do or die for Republic of Ireland as they travel to France knowing that only a win will keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup.

Watch the game live on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD 1.

A deflected 72nd minute Nicolas Anelka strike is all that separates the two teams from the play-off first-leg at Croke Park on Saturday.

A bad-tempered clash threatened to spill over as the players left the field as Keith Andrews reacted to an alleged comment made by Lassana Diarra. The Blackburn midfielder has since refused to divulge what his French counterpart said.

Despite the melee that greeted the final whistle Giovanni Trapattoni expects his players to keep their heads in Paris on Wednesday, but the altercations should make for some lively match-ups on the pitch.

The stats do not bode well for the Irish as they have never won on French soil in four attempts, losing three and drawing one, while scoring just the once and conceding six.

With so much at stake Trapattoni will be hoping his side can stay in the game for as long as possible and hopefully expose the apparent lack of confidence of their opponents under manager Raymond Domenech's tutelage.

Unpopular among the French public and reportedly equally disliked by some of his players, Domenech finds himself under immense pressure to qualify for South Africa and Ireland will be looking to intensify the strain at the Stade de France.
France news

The hosts will be without Eric Abidal for the return leg due to a thigh injury. The Barcelona left-back, who plays at centre-half for his country, played the full 90 minutes in Dublin but complained of the problem after the match.

Sevilla duo Julien Escude and Sebastien Squillaci will battle it out to replace the 30-year-old at the heart of the France defence.

Jeremy Toulalan has also been ruled out having failed to recover in time from a hamstring injury.

The problem had kept the Lyon midfielder sidelined on Saturday but it was hoped that the 26-year-old would be fit to return in Paris.

Republic news

Ireland go into the clash at full strength with no injuries to report and assistant manager Marco Tardelli has been keen to stress that morale in the camp is high.

Trapattoni could stick with the same side that narrowly lost on Saturday but with Ireland needing to win he may opt for the tricky Aiden McGeady or the energetic Stephen Hunt to unsettle the opposition down the flanks.

Liam Lawrence and Damien Duff started the first-leg on the wings and even if Celtic's McGeady has to make do with a place on the bench, he will surely feature for longer than the 14 minutes he appeared for at the weekend. The same can be said of Hunt who came on as an 80th minute substitute.


H / A / N Matches W D L Goals + / -
H 9 3 2 4 10 - 12 -2
A 10 1 3 6 5 - 13 -8
N 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 +0
Total 19 4 5 10 15 - 25 -10

Date&time Comp. H / A / N Final score
07.09.2023 at 19:45 European Cup Qualifier A 0 - 2
27.03.2023 at 19:45 Euro 2024 Qualifier H 0 - 1
28.05.2018 at 15:00 Friendly A 0 - 2
26.06.2016 at 15:00 European Cup Finals A 1 - 2
18.11.2009 at 21:00 World Cup Play Off A 1 - 1
14.11.2009 at 20:00 World Cup Play Off H 0 - 1
07.09.2005 at 19:45 World Cup Qualifier H 0 - 1
09.10.2004 at 20:00 World Cup Qualifier A 0 - 0
07.02.1989 at 19:45 Friendly H 0 - 0
14.10.1981 at 16:00 World Cup Qualifier H 3 - 2
28.10.1980 at 00:00 World Cup Qualifier A 0 - 2
30.03.1977 at 00:00 World Cup Qualifier H 1 - 0
17.11.1976 at 00:00 World Cup Qualifier A 0 - 2
19.05.1973 at 00:00 World Cup Qualifier A 1 - 1
15.11.1972 at 00:00 World Cup Qualifier H 2 - 1
25.11.1953 at 00:00 World Cup Qualifier A 0 - 1
04.10.1953 at 15:30 World Cup Qualifier H 3 - 5
16.11.1952 at 14:30 Friendly H 1 - 1
23.05.1937 at 00:00 Friendly A 2 - 0
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