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Eileen Gleeson: We're coming to win the game

Republic of Ireland head coach Eileen Gleeson believes her team can pull off a huge upset by beating France in Friday night's Euro 2025 qualifier.

The Girls in Green take on Herve Renard's imperious side in Metz before welcoming reigning European champions England to the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday night. Sweden are the other team in a ridiculously difficult group; all three of Ireland's rivals are ranked inside the world's top six.

Ireland need to finish in the top two to earn automatic qualification for next year's Euros in Switzerland, though they are guaranteed a place in the play-off semi-finals even if they end the campaign bottom.

They are complete outsiders, but Gleeson was defiant on the eve of their French showdown.

When asked what would represent a good result, she replied: "To win! We are coming here to compete and to try and win the game, affect the game in whatever way we can.

"That has to be the starting point - we are coming to win the game.

"This is where we are, this is where we want to be. This is the draw we got. In terms of Irish women's football, it is super important to be consistent and to sustain consistent qualification into major tournaments and this is a step along that process.

"We had our first World Cup but we don’t want it to stop there, we want to continue, we want to qualify for more."

Their cause will be helped by the return of Denise O'Sullivan, who missed the February friendlies against Italy and Wales due to some bone bruising on her kneee. Niamh Fahey withdrew from the squad earlier in the week with a calf injury, but Gleeson has no other major concerns.

A crowd of around 18,000 is expected at the impressive Stade Saint-Symphorien tomorrow. Ireland trained there today, with Gleeson admitting

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