Set pieces key for Ireland

by Neil Sherwin

Ireland and France do battle over two legs this week and BackPageFootball has some interesting facts to digest thanks to Castrol Performance research.


A big factor in this tie could be the ability of the Ireland team to take advantage of set pieces. In the group stages, the Irish netted seven times from dead balls, accounting for 58% of the total goals scored. This was the fourth highest amount out of any European team.

On the flipside, France conceded more goals from set pieces than any other team bar the Netherlands. Overall they were hit six times, a figure which equates to 67% of their total goals against.

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The loss of Franck Ribery to the French side has been well documented, though the Bayern Munich midfielder may not be as important as has been made out.

Since his debut in 2006, Ribery has played 41 internationals of which the French have won 23. This gives a win percentage of 56%. However, when he has been absent, the team has won 8 out of 11 matches giving a win percentage of 73%.

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For more facts and figures visit http://www.castrolfootball.com/rankings/rankings/

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