News on Ireland vs. France matchup

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Is Yoann Gourcuff France's secret weapon against Ireland?

With only hours left until the French National Team takes the pitch against Ireland, the news of what might happen in tomorrow’s match has already started.

Earlier this week, Lyon coach Claude Puel said that if he were to have his team play this weekend, he would not dress Jeremy Toulalan. Yet, Raymond Domenech said that Puel’s words does not affect his decision on whether he starts Toulalan or not.

When asked by RTE News in Ireland if Jeremy Toulalan would miss both legs of the match, Domenech said “No, I have other worries.” He also said Toulalan was recovering from the injury. Still, the conflict between Puel trying to protect his player and Domenech trying to qualify for the World Cup will continue.

With the possible departure of Toulalan from the team, this gives Domenech a chance to open up the scoring if he wishes to do so. Along with Moussa Sissoko, who can be a dangerous scorer in the middle, the French manager will also have Yoann Gourcuff at his disposal. If Domenech plays either one of these players, France will show that they are out for blood in Dublin.

Domenech also said that France will be better prepared for both matchups, as most of his team will be able to practice most of the week because of the Ligue 1 break. Lassana Diarra played for his club team in the past few days, and that is it. On the other hand, many of the Irish players have been busy with their EPL and SPL schedules.

Eric Abidal spoke to the press before departing to Dublin. Abidal said that the French defense has been mostly working on defending Ireland’s set pieces. He also said that the offensive has been working on keeping the ball and that the main focus of the French team is to give Ireland very few opportunities to possess the ball.

“We must play our game, make sure they do not have the ball, go forward,” said Abidal.

There is also no further news on the possibility of Andre-Pierre Gignac missing the match. He will more than likely be a gametime decision, but don’t expect him to play if the news that has been reported about his injury the last two days has been correct.