Stephen Hunt admits France's superstars will not be afraid of the Republic of Ireland if they are pitched into a World Cup play-off battle.

The Republic will be in the hat for Monday's draw after clinching second spot in Group Eight behind reigning champions Italy following their clash at Croke Park on Saturday night.

With France, Portugal, Russia and Greece likely to be the four seeded teams against whom they could be drawn, Hull midfielder Hunt said when questioned on the prospect of facing the 1998 World Cup winners: "They are all top players and they will be confident of beating us. The seedings don't lie."

He added: "France have got superb players who have dealt with pressure all their lives. Thierry Henry is playing at Barcelona, William Gallas is playing at Arsenal.

"We won't get carried away. We have got an awful lot of hard work to come and hopefully we can do it.

"Whoever we play against they are going to be difficult games.

"We have got to be professional over the two legs and make sure we get to the World Cup no matter how we get there."

Assistant manager Marco Tardelli admits he would rather not draw France and is keeping his fingers crossed that 2004 European champions Greece are lying in wait for the Republic.

He said: "Maybe Greece, yes, maybe. Not France, but Greece is possible because Greece is a team like us.

"I think France is the worst draw because they have many good players like Ribery, Benzema, Henry and Trezeguet."

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#Arsenal
#Stephen Hunt
#Premier League
#Hull City
#Stephen Hunt
#William Gallas
#Thierry Henry
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