Sunday 25 September 2016

One of football's greatest managers is tipping Ireland to spring a surprise against France

Published 25/06/2016 | 19:34

Ireland haven't been given much of a chance of upsetting France in the last 16 of the European Championships but one of the game's top tacticians thinks Martin O'Neill's men could trouble the host nation.

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France qualified as winners of Group A, but struggled at times, scoring late goals to beat Romania and Albania while being held scoreless by Switzerland.

Ireland needed a late headed goal from Robbie Brady to sneak into the second round, with the bookies making them 19/2 underdogs to win in 90 minutes tomorrow.

However, while punters might not reckon the Boys in Green can cause an upset, Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti isn't writing off Ireland.

Writing in his column in The Telegraph, the three-time European Cup-winner spoke favourably about Martin O'Neill's team.

"I watched the Republic of Ireland game against Italy and I thought Martin O’Neill’s team played very well," Ancelotti said.

"It is a European Championship of surprises. I know that they have to play France but I would not write the Irish off just yet. Many of the usual rules go out of the window when you reach this stage. Some players are tired while others are just inspired."

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