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You have to start Evan Ferguson against France - Dan McDonnell

Ireland will have a very different look to their starting XI when they play France, and Evan Ferguson is integral to that.

Irish journalist Dan McDonnell joined The Football Show to discuss Evan Ferguson and Ireland's team selection against France.

We're a week away from Ireland returning to action on the pitch.

Stephen Kenny's squad will be announced soon and there will be a few notable changes. Mikey Johnston is a 23-year-old winger who will be in the squad and is expected to feature throughout the qualifying campaign. But Shane Duffy will be lucky to be included after not playing for most of this season.

Ireland have two very different games against Latvia and France.

France, even if they pick a second-string side, will pose threats to this team that Kenny and company have never seen. And the starting XI on the night will need to be picked based on the threats that France offer.

And the big question is if Evan Ferguson will start?

"Kenny is a big fan of Andrew Omobamidele who is now back," McDonnell said.

"Also Seamus Coleman is now back and he is an option on the right of the back three. He has been playing regularly. It is one game here we're talking about. You're talking about France and how are you going to approach the France game?

"For that game, he's probably going to be happy with John Egan and Nathan Collins in the centre. Is he going to put in any scenario a Shane Duffy who hasn't played? Who isn't sharp?..a team that plays with real pace and power."

Ireland won't dominate possession against France, so does it make sense to start the taller, heavier Evan Ferguson over the quicker, faster Michael Obafemi?

"With every week, the case for him starting gets stronger and stronger...You just watch Ferguson every week and the quality of his all-around play is so good. He's played against Konate twice. He holds the ball up so well and brings other people into the game."

Ferguson's skill set is so rounded that he shouldn't be labelled as just a big man or just a target man. So he can lead the line and help Ireland in any situation.

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Evan Ferguson France Ireland Stephen Kenny