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France v Republic of Ireland background

Finals hosts France will endeavour to avoid a third successive knockout round defeat at a EURO when they take on the Republic of Ireland in Lyon on Sunday.

France v Republic of Ireland background
France v Republic of Ireland background ©Getty Images

The Republic of Ireland have scored only once against France since October 1981, but the hosts can expect an extremely tight encounter as Les Bleus bid to preserve their unbeaten record in Lyon.

Previous meetings
• France have won seven of the nations' 16 meetings while Ireland have won four.

• Their most recent clashes were in the play-offs for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, France prevailing 1-0 in Dublin then drawing 1-1 in the return leg at Stade de France.

• France are unbeaten in five games against Ireland (W2 D3) stretching back to a 3-2 loss in a World Cup qualifier in October 1981. All those matches have been close though (oldest first): 0-0, 0-0, 1-0, 1-0, 1-1.

• Robbie Keane's goal in that 1-1 draw at Stade de France is the only goal Ireland have scored against France in nearly 35 years.

• Although the countries have met 12 times in World Cup qualifying fixtures – with France winning six and Ireland three – they have yet to lock horns in the UEFA European Championship.

EURO facts: France
• Group A winners France are unbeaten in seven games (W6 D1), though their 0-0 draw against Switzerland ended a six-match winning streak dating back to a 2-0 friendly loss to England on 17 November 2015.

• France are unbeaten in seven internationals at Stade de Gerland (W5 D2) since a 3-1 friendly reverse to Spain in their first-ever outing in Lyon on 17 October 1968. They squeezed past Denmark 2-1 in a group stage game in Lyon en route to winning the 1998 FIFA World Cup as hosts.

• France's EURO squad includes two current Olympique Lyonnais players: right-back Christophe Jallet and fellow defender Samuel Umtiti. In addition, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was a Lyon player from 2008–12, Anthony Martial came through the OL academy and made his first professional appearances for Lyon, while Antoine Griezmann was born and raised around 65km away from the city in Macon.

• France have lost their last two knockout phase matches at a EURO since winning the 2000 edition, on both occasions bowing out to the eventual victors: Greece in 2004 and Spain in 2012.

• France (1984) are one of three nations to have won a EURO as hosts, along with Spain (1964) and Italy (1968).

©Getty Images

EURO facts: Ireland
• The Irish are competing at their third EURO and have progressed from the group stage for the first time – a vast improvement on UEFA EURO 2012 where they lost all three fixtures.

• Ireland's biggest achievement to date came at the 1990 World Cup, where they were quarter-finalists.

• This is the Republic's first game in Lyon.

Coach and player links
• Current team-mates:
Dimitri Payet and Darren Randolph (West Ham United FC)

• Former team-mates:
Patrice Evra and John O’Shea (Manchester United FC 2006–11)

• Ireland's Robbie Brady was a trainee at United (2011–13) while Evra was playing for the first team.

• France's Paul Pogba was also a United trainee (2009–11) while O’Shea was a first-teamer.