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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

France should dominate Ireland on home turf

Champions League stars to miss friendlies

Olivier Giroud in action against Colombia
1 of 1

International friendlies
From midday Monday

Ireland led France for 55 minutes before suffering a 2-1 defeat at Euro 2016 but they are unlikely to get anywhere near as close to Les Bleus in their World Cup warm-up match at Stade de France.

From an Irish perspective, the match is the first of two opportunities to fine-tune their game before travelling to Wales for their first Nations League clash in September.

However, playing France in Paris is as tough as it gets and Ireland boss Martin O'Neill is selecting from a fairly experimental squad featuring seven uncapped players.

Of the more experienced internationals, John O'Shea is trying to get over Sunderland's relegation from the Sky Bet Championship and Jonathan Walters is attempting to recover from an injury-ravaged season at Burnley.

France won't quite be at full-strength - Champions League winner Rafael Varane will be given more time off - but they possess as much individual quality as any team at the World Cup and will be looking to build a winning habit before locking horns with Australia in Kazan on June 16.

They won 3-1 away to Russia in their most recent outing and should soon be in command against the Irish, so a France-France half-time full-time wager appeals.

Portugal are likely to be without Cristiano Ronaldo for their friendly at home to Tunisia but they are still hot favourites.

Milan forward Andre Silva may get the chance to lead Portugal's attack in Braga and is 9-2 with bet365 to score the first goal.

Wales will be without Gareth Bale for their clash with Mexico in Pasadena in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

James Chester and Joe Allen are other notable absentees for the Welsh, who face a tough task against a Mexico side playing the first of three World Cup warm-up games.

The Mexicans lost 1-0 to Croatia in Texas, last month but are odds-on to bounce back with a win.

France-France double result
1pt 8-11 Coral

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France won't quite be at full-strength - Champions League winner Rafael Varane will be given more time off
E.W. Terms
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