France v ROI: Ghost of Henry’s handball to loom over Irish exit
Robbie Brady’s dramatic and emotional late winner versus Italy may have ensured the Republic of Ireland stick around in France a little longer, but now up against the host nation, time could soon be up for the Emerald Isle.
Tensions will linger throughout the match at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais of course, following the infamous Thierry Henry handball incident which ended Ireland’s World Cup qualifying hopes seven years ago.
Henry has long-since retired, but you can bet Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane will have their squad riled up and ready to get at the tournament favourites.
With Didier Deschamps able to call upon the likes of Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, and of course, tournament star Dimitri Payet, France have one of their best squads since the turn of the century.
Add in their history as hosts – winning two of their three major tournaments on home soil – and the Emerald Isle are firm underdogs.
Olivier Giroud was rested for Les Bleus’ final group game, and the Arsenal forward is 7/2 to bag the opener in Lyon.
That man Payet is sure to be in the thick of it once again, and having displayed his wondrous talent with two stunning goals this summer, it’s 5/1 the West Ham star scores first.
Shane Long has done a lot of hard graft so far for O’Neill and Keane, and the Southampton man is 11/1 for the first goal, while Italy hero Robbie Brady is 22/1 for the first strike, and 8/1 to score anytime.
In four previous meetings between the sides, France are unbeaten, winning 1-0 on two occasions.
Victory over Italy was a heroic performance from the Boys in Green, but such is France’s quality right now, they may have to prepare for the ghost of Henry’s handball to linger a little longer.
Having a bet on France v Republic of Ireland?
Don’t forget, it’s Money Back if it’s a Draw on selected losing markets for all Euro 2016 matches involving England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland!*
*Money Back as a free bet up to £25. *90 minutes only. Click here for full Terms and Conditions
Plus – keep checking back to Ladbrokes.com in the run-up to kick-off for a range of pre-match specials.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.