France’s Deschamps rings changes for Ireland Euro 2016 clash


Lyon (AFP) – France coach Didier Deschamps made four changes to his side for Sunday’s Euro 2016 last 16 clash against the Republic of Ireland, boosting his attack and switching his midfield.

Antoine Griezmann is the only survivor up front from the team which was held to a goalless draw by Switzerland.

He keeps his place on the right wing at the Stade de Lyon alongside striker Olivier Giroud with Dimitri Payet on the left.

Blaise Matuidi and N’Golo Kante return to the midfield, at the expense of Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko, alongside Juventus’ Paul Pogba, who shone against the Swiss.

Ireland boss Martin O’Neill kept faith with the same starting side which booked their place in the last 16 with a shock 1-0 win over Italy.

This is the first time the two sides have met since their 2010 World Cup play-off in November 2009.

Seven years ago, Thierry Henry’s infamous handball helped the French claim a 2-1 aggregate victory which sent them to South Africa at the expense of the Irish.

France (4-3-3)

Hugo Lloris (capt); Bacary Sagna, Adil Rami, Laurent Koscielny, Patrice Evra; Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi; Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Dimitri Payet

Coach: Didier Deschamps (FRA)

Republic of Ireland (4-4-2) 

Darren Randolph; Seamus Coleman (capt), Richard Keogh, Shane Duffy, Stephen Ward; Robbie Brady, James McCarthy, Jeff Hendrick, James McClean; Shane Long, Daryl Murphy

Coach: Martin O’Neill (NIR) 

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)

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