Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

Fixtures & Results

Portugal POR 1

Morocco MAR 0

REPORT

Uruguay URY 1

Saudi Arabia SAU 0

REPORT

Iran IRN 0

Spain ESP 1

REPORT

Denmark DNK 1

Australia AUS 1

REPORT

France FRA 1

Peru PER 0

REPORT

Argentina ARG 0

Croatia CRO 3

REPORT

Brazil BRA

Costa Rica CRI

Nigeria NGA

Iceland ISL

Serbia SRB

Switzerland SUI

Belgium BEL

Tunisia TUN

South Korea KOR

Mexico MEX

Germany GER

Sweden SWE

England ENG

Panama PAN

Japan JPN

Senegal SEN

Poland POL

Colombia COL

Saudi Arabia SAU

Egypt EGY

Uruguay URY

Russia RUS

Spain ESP

Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

Denmark DNK

France FRA

Australia AUS

Peru PER

Iceland ISL

Croatia CRO

Nigeria NGA

Argentina ARG

Mexico MEX

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Germany GER

Switzerland SUI

Costa Rica CRI

Serbia SRB

Brazil BRA

Senegal SEN

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Belgium BEL

Home Sport Football

Martin O’Neill tips France as potential World Cup winners

The Ireland boss will not be taking it easy at the Stade de France.

Martin O’Neill has tipped France as potential World Cup winners despite his former team-mate Age Hareide describing them as “nothing special”.

Denmark boss Hareide will lead his team into Group C battle with the French in Russia having seen his team comprehensively dispatch O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland in the play-offs in November.

However, while he has played down the chances of Didier Deschamps’ team making a significant impact, his Ireland counterpart is not so sure.

O’Neill, who will send the Republic into a friendly against France in Paris on Monday evening, said with a smile: “Did he say that? Well, I know the Danish coach – I used to play with him. He’s a very nice man – he wasn’t such a great player himself.

“It’s highly dangerous to talk about that. I think the French are individually well-equipped. The French have been strong for some time.

“He may be referring to, perhaps… there’s a feeling sometimes that the French are not always united – all we needed was the example of (Adrien) Rabiot leaving the squad.

“Personally, I think they’re very strong. France, when they get together, will be strong in this competition.

“They will be disappointed to lose the final of European Championship, but overall they have as good a chance as anybody of winning the World Cup.

“The main thing is the extra experience they have had over the last couple of years. Qualification was fine. I disagree with the Danish manager. Individually, France have got very strong players indeed.”

O’Neill, who played with Hareide at Manchester City and Norwich, is likely to field a largely inexperienced team at the Stade de France almost two years after the sides last met in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 finals.

Back then, Robbie Brady fired Ireland into a shock lead before they eventually lost 2-1.

Asked if they would be taking it a little easier this time around, he replied: “Well, we are unable to take things easy.

“It will be a big test for us, obviously. France are going to the World Cup. It’s a big preparation game for them, and I know they’ve got couple of other games before head to Russia.

“For us, it’s great preparation for the UEFA Nations League coming up in September, October and November. It’s a big game for us and for a number of the inexperienced players we have in the squad.”

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph