Showtime beckons. Ireland against France. The form team in Europe affords the Boys in Green the opportunity of making a global splash and enthusing a sold-out crowd at the start of a qualification campaign.
The disparity in class is evident but, for Ireland to cause a shock, key battles have to be conquered.
Here, we look at three of those on the pitch and contrast the two managers calling the shots, in selection and substitutes, from the sideline.
Latest news through the submission of final squad lists is the inclusion of Séamus Coleman and Adam Idah, both injury doubts, while niggles cause Callum O’Dowda and Troy Parrott to miss out. Robbie Brady and Will Keane are the others not making the final 23-man matchday cut.
If club form is the barometer, Ireland can use this one as a portent.
Twice in Ferguson’s first full club senior season has Konaté marked him for Liverpool and in both cases Liverpool were culled.
A wise move would be to delegate duties to Dayot Upamecano but he may fancy his luck a third time around.
When Ferguson drops deep to initiate attacks by playing in colleagues, Konaté will be shadowing, as he must repeat around the goalmouth to keep Ireland’s teen star in check.
This could develop into the pivotal duel.
To prevent Griezmann repeating the carnage he inflicted on the Dutch, Cullen must master the art of denying space between the midfield and defence.
“I can’t give him enough compliments or speak highly enough of him but we are there to do a job on him,” Burnley man Cullen emphasised.
He’s the best qualified in the Irish ranks to narrow the lines, a ploy Ireland must execute to suffocate a succession of French sieges.
After winning his fitness battle by shaking off a groin niggle, the Ireland skipper will feature at wing-back or as one of the three central defenders. Either way, his patrolling of the right side will station him to the daunting task of Mbappé.
The PSG star will start on the left, floating free inside but Coleman has form when it comes to man-marking assignments. The Irishman’s challenge is to negate the 10-year gap between them by keeping pace with the speedster.
One is still a rookie international manager while the other has the records and trophies to go down as one of the best ever at this level and yet Kenny has more games - majority club - than Deschamps.
There was none of the emotion Kenny regularly emits when the debonair Deschamps sat down before the media on the eve of the game, though his one-liners and jokes were a departure to the norm, according to his regular press corps.
Deschamps has recycled his squad several times over the nearly 11 years he’s had the helm whereas the core of Kenny’s team can be traced back to his year - 2019 - in charge of the Under-21s.
The Ireland boss can take credit for his treble substitution working against Latvia to avoid another blip at Lansdowne Road but Deschamps is the one possessing depth on his bench.
Accommodating those riches, and keeping them onside, is the issue he has to balance.