France v Republic of Ireland Betting: Les Blues can restrict O'Neill's men

Despite some less than convincing performances in Group A, our tipster thinks Didier Deschamps' side can prove their defensive credentials when they face the Boys in Green

Having won their group and made it through to the last 16, France regained their status as pre-tournament favorites. Les Bleus have yet to play their best football and needed two extremely late goals to secure their two victorites in the competition so far but with progress to the knockout stages secured, there is a feeling the best is yet to come from the hosts.

Their opponents in the last 16 are an Ireland side who made it through thanks to a late goal against Italy, yet while Martin O'Neill's men have shown plenty of spirit they have been short on quality and that is likely to be  exposed by France.

Didier Deschamps' team are offered at 9/20 (1.45) with Paddy Power to win in 90 minutes, with the price of 1/6 (1.17) for them to make it through to the next round underlining just how clear favorites they are. New customers can take an enhanced price of 4/1 (5.0) when opening an account. To take up these odds simply register via the link provided, back France at the usual price and if they win, the returns will be topped up.

The Irish meanwhile are priced at 9/1 (10.00) to win while are draw is offered at 3/1 (4.00) yet surely there will be few punters backing against a French success. 

While the hosts have relied on late goals being scored, they have been pretty solid at the back, with their only goal conceded in three matches coming from the penalty spot in their opening game against Romania. Both teams to score is naturally a relative long shot at 7/4 (2.75) while opposing this option is offered at just 2/5 (1.40), with the bookmakers clearly thinking that the Irish are not likely to find the back of the net. 

If France look like winning and Ireland are outsiders to score, then backing a French victory and a clean sheet for Les Bleus looks like a logical selection and one which is offered at 5/6 (1.83). Of course this fixture has some history, with the Irish still looking for revenge six years after they were denied a possible place at the World Cup by Thierry Henry's infamous handball assist in their qualifying play-off.

Yet their record against the French is poor and Robbie Keane's goal in that play-off is the only time they have scored against Les Bleus in their last six meetings, or put another way the Irish have managed one goal against France in the last 35 years.

It is hard to see that changing against a France side that has kept three clean sheets in their last four matches, with a French win to nil looking like a decent way of punters to of getting some value out of backing the hosts. For an odds-against selection the price of 11/10 (2.10) for France to be winning at half time and full time will surely attract some attention, yet France's reliance on late goals means that this might not be quite as attractive a proposition. 

France to win to nil at 5/6 (1.83) for a 2pt stake with Paddy Power