France will lock horns with Republic of Ireland in a round-of-16 clash of Euro 2016 at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon on Sunday. Republic of Ireland will be looking to avenge their defeat of 2009 against France, in which they were denied a World Cup spot.
A contentious Thierry Henry hand-ball had led to William Gallas' goal in the extra time back then. The Irish outfit may not have forgotten that shocking and controversial exit. A win against France in this fixture in front of their home crowd will be sweet revenge.
However, France are unbeaten in their last five games against Republic of Ireland. They have managed two wins and three draws against the Irish outfit. The last time France suffered a defeat at the hands of Ireland was back in 1981 in a World Cup qualifying game.
"A knockout match makes things a little more exciting but it's not going to inhibit us or make us more fragile. We're in the last 16; our aim is to get over this next hurdle. At the top level, you need to be able to defend well, but to win you need to score one more goal than the opposition – otherwise it's a penalty shoot-out," France manager Didier Deschamps was quoted as saying by UEFA.
"We've worked hard, looked at our potential defensive concerns and tried to be as solid as possible. We only conceded once in the first three matches and that was a penalty – we'll need more of the same.
"Ireland have a lot of heart, they work very hard – but it's not just that, there's some good footballers in that team."
Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland are in the knockout stages of European Championships for the first time in history and will want to make it count in all possible ways. After they stunned Italy in their last group-stage encounter of Euro 2016, Martin O'Neill's side is pumped up to put up a strong show against France as well.
"We'll go into the game with some confidence on the back of the Italy performance, which was very good. The approach is within ourselves. You know you're going to come up against top-quality players, whether they're in midfield, forwards or about the best defenders going. The players come up against this sort of quality all the time and they're ready for it. The French have some very, very good players, who play for big teams," O'Neill said.
"It's a matter of ticking over; it's tournament football and you've got to rest up. We have to cope with it, get on with it, and if the players have recovered in time to show the same effort and zeal as the other night, we'll be ready for it."
Where to Watch Live
France vs Republic of Ireland round of 16 game of Euro 2016 is set to begin at 3 p.m. local time(6:30 p.m. IST, 2 p.m. BST, 9 a.m. ET). All the live streaming and TV information is below.
France: TV: Bein Sports 1 and 2. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
Germany: TV: SRF zwei, Sport 1.FM, WDR. Live Streaming: ARD Das Erste.
Austria: ZDF, HRT 2, ORF 1. Live Streaming: ORF TV.
Hungary: M4 Sports.
Ukraine: Belarus 2, Kanal Ukrayina.
Poland: Polsat Sport 2 HD, Belarus 5, TV P1. Live Streaming: TVP Sport.
Slovakia: TV: HRT and STV.
USA: TV: ESPN 2 and ESPN 3. Live Streaming: Watch ESPN.
Canada: TV: TSN and RDS. Live Streaming: TSN TV.
Australia: TV: Bein Sports and SBS One. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
Latin America: TV: DirecTV.
China and Hong Kong: TV: CCTV and LeTV.
Thailand: TV: Channel 3.
Singapore: TV: Eleven Singapore and Singtel. Live Streaming: Singtel Go.
Malaysia: TV: Astro.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: Bein Sports Max. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: SuperSport 3. Live Streaming: SuperSport.