Kylian Mbappé, France
Les Bleus

Ireland-France preview: 'Mbappé always has a goal in him'

Ireland-France preview: 'Mbappé always has a goal in him'

Les Bleus
Publish on 03/26 at 11:38 - S. TELFORD


Kylian Mbappé has Michel Platini's record of 41 France goals in his sights as les Bleus take on the Republic of Ireland in the second game of their UEFA Euro 2024 Group B qualifying campaign on Monday.

Ireland - France


- Kick-off: 19:45 GMT


France got off to the perfect start on Friday, beating the Netherlands 4-0 with Mbappé adding a brace after Antoine Griezmann and Dayot Upamecano had already scored - Griezmann's early strike teed up by Mbappé.


Mbappé now has 38 goals and 24 assists in 67 games for his country, giving him a goal-involvement of one every 81 minutes he has played, and his double against the Netherlands took him to fifth in France's all-time scoring charts, ahead of Karim Benzema.


He is only a hat-trick away from matching Platini on 41, and while Ireland might not roll over that easily, Mbappé did score three as les Bleus were edged on penalties by Lionel Messi's Argentina in December's FIFA World Cup final.


Deschamps delighted with Mbappé 


Head coach Didier Deschamps expects the goals to keep coming.


"Kylian always has goals in him!" he said at the pre-match press conference. When he passes one [great player] he immediately has the next one in his sights. He has it in him [to become France's all-time top scorer]. He's achieving it so early. This is where he also has a leading role. We have to get there together."


Mbappé led France out for the first time since being named as Hugo Lloris' successor as captain on Friday, and will do so again against Ireland. With no fresh injury concerns, Deschamps is expected to start with the same XI that he did against the Dutch.


Ireland are sweating on the fitness of their captain Seamus Coleman, the Everton man struggling with a thigh injury. Matt Doherty, now of Atletico Madrid, should line up in his stead.


Ferguson praise


Ireland come into this game having most recently beaten Latvia 3-2 in a friendly last Wednesday, in which Brighton youngster Evan Ferguson grabbed his first international goal. Mbappé respects the 18-year-old striker.


"We saw some clips of him," he said. "It's his first season as a striker, an important striker for that team. But we hope tomorrow that it's not good for him, we want to win and we want to do a good job. But he's a good player."


Possible teams


Ireland: Bazunu; Egan, Collins, O'Shea; Doherty, Cullen, Molumby, Knight, Brady; Ferguson, Obafemi


France: Maignan; Kounde, Konate, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Coman, Griezmann, Mbappe; Kolo Muani

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