Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Qualifier Countdown - 7 days away

We are seven days away from one of the most important football matches in recent Irish footballing history.

Ireland against France at Lansdowne Road.

An epic match that will play a huge part in determining the future of Group 4.

Over the next week I will be counting down the days until the Boys in Green clash with Les Bleus. Ireland currently top Group 4 with 13 points from 7 games, whereas France lie in fourth place with 10 points from 6 games. Defeat for the French would almost certainly see them miss out on Germany in 2006 with Switzerland lying in second place in the group with 12 points from 6 games.

The big news from the Irish camp this week was the announcement of the squad on Monday by Ireland manager Brian Kerr. As expected, Manchester United captain Roy Keane returns.

As for the French camp, they have been showing their confidence (arrogance?) with Zinedine Zidane declaring, "we can win - and we will win."

"We have to win in Dublin but I feel we will win," said Zidane who has had the captain's armband returned to him by Thierry Henry.

"We have a big game against the Faroes to take care of first, then we have the game in Ireland. I think we will have to dig deep within ourselves to win in Dublin, but we can do it.

"We showed in our friendly game against the Ivory Coast two weeks ago what we are capable of, we are feeling confident, we are looking forward to playing Ireland and I am feeling good as we had a winning start to the league season in Spain with Real Madrid."

Fighting words from the Frenchman. We shall see what happens.

This is a mouthwatering clash however and both nations will no doubt be gripped by the events.

Come on Ireland!


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