France vs Ireland by Isaiah
France didn't perform that convincing till now, but the team was still able to win the group A, being ahead of Switzerland, Albania and Romania. However, the truth is that the side got two late victories, over Albania and Romania, while their game against Switzerland didn't bring much of excitement upfront, ending as a goalless draw.
Some problems in creativity were obvious, as they had some luck to break the opponents defense as well, however it's something that the team worked on strongly in recent days and something where the French side surely has plenty of quality, just need to confirm it now.
French side should be playing in close to a 4-3-3 formation with Payet, Giroud and Griezmann as forwards. Their manager Didier Deschamps shouldn't produce many surprises when selection starting eleven, especially since he has no injury nor suspension worries. Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann both have under performed till now, but their positions shouldn't be in doubt once again. Blaise Matiudi could be dropped off in favor of Mousa Sissoko.
It has to be said that Irish performances have also been incredibly poor form now, but the team still had luck to play against Italy in the last round that already has secured the first position. Still, they were made to wait until last five minutes of the game to get into the knockout stage of the game.
The team looked rather decent in the first game againt Sweden taking a point in a 1:1 draw, but then were outplayed by much more superior Belgium in offense with a 3:0 result, as the final score could have been even worse for them. Finally, the side was awarded for the fighting spirit in the last round thanks to a late goal winner from Brady in 85th minute for the final 1:0 victory over Italians that fielded up a rotated squad.
Irish side is set to play in a bit more defensive 4-4-1-1 formation with Murphy as offensive midfielder and Long as number nine and alone striker upfront. Jonathan Wlaters hasn't featured since the opening group game and remains injury doubtful for this one as well. John O'Shea and Glenn Whelan might once against seek for their place in the game from the bench.
French side wasn't at the desired level, but the truth is also that the tournament only starts now for many nations, including them. I believe that the hosts nation will be up to the task now and will start showing their potential from this game on.