The French are coming to Dublin and many football pundits and fans alike wonder how the Republic of Ireland Men's National Team will cope with defending against the likes of Kylian Mbappé, Antonine Greizmann and Kolo Muani.
Many believe that Stephen Kenny's style of playing the ball out from the back could leave his side in a perilous position as the French front three will not stop pressing the Irish back three.
The former Republic of Ireland international David Meyler is no stranger to scalping the super nations, as he was a part of the side that defeated Germany in 2015. When asked by Off The Ball's John Duggan on Football Saturday whether there was a template for beating teams like France, Meyler offered some advice ahead of Monday's match.
"I don't think there's a template for it," said Meyler. "A lot of these games, when you play the so-called super nations, the big teams with the players like the Kylian Mbappé's and Antoine Griezmann's who can change a game at any moment."
"I think in those games you mentioned, certainly the Germany when we played at home, we defended deep for long periods. You need your goalkeeper to obviously have one of those games where they're on fire, and then it's just about cutting off as much supply to the attacking players."
"Now, even if we look at Monday, we're going to be pinned in at times. That's just natural. When France do kind of push hard on us, when they're moving the ball around quickly, we're going to be in a flat back five, probably four across the middle. And that's the point where we need to frustrate your Mbappé's and the Griezmann's."
"We cannot allow any spaces in between the pockets where they can pick up the ball and they can hurt us. Now, I think our biggest problem will be certainly with the way Stephen is trying to play, is we're going to try and obviously, when it happens, get possession and try and dictate play, as Dan touched on their France, do like to sit off, and it's probably for them, they're looking to catch you in a trap."
"That's what could hurt us. If we're trying to be a little bit expansive, trying to play out, the French forward players will cheat and they'll stay high up. And then if we turn over possession, leaving centre-backs isolated in one v one areas against the likes of Mbappé, there's not much you can do because the player is so good, so quick, he's so skilful."
"But certainly, there will be a game plan in place and it's about a lot of these games are about staying in it for as long as you can. Like you touched on the Netherlands game, like you can see it early, you have to then go on the front foot to kind of go and get back into the game. And that's where spaces appear and that's where you get punished against the top teams."
Ireland will face off against the French on Monday the 27th of March at the Aviva Stadium.
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