Big Match Breakdown: Republic of Ireland v Denmark
Second-leg takes place in Dublin tonight
Following a tense 0-0 draw in Copenhagen, the Republic of Ireland and Denmark head into tonight’s match at the Aviva Stadium with everything to play for.
Darren Randolph was the hero in Denmark, the Middlesbrough stopper denying the Danes a first-leg lead with a string of impressive first-half stops.
It means the tie is all square going into tonight’s vital knockout match in Dublin.
As always, the Coral News Team are on hand to provide the big match breakdown for this evening’s match…
Ireland’s 0-0 draw on Saturday night extended their run to just one defeat in their last 12 World Cup qualifiers. On top of that, the Irish also hold a formidable home record in competitive matches. In their last 12 games at the Aviva Stadium, Martin O’Neill’s side have only lost once – a 1-0 home defeat to Serbia in September.
Their opponents tonight are also in a rich vein of form. The Danes are unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions and have won their last three competitive matches away from home.
However, their record against Ireland is far from ideal. Including the 0-0 draw between the two teams on Saturday night, De Rod-Hvide are winless in five against the Irish. In-fact, they’ve only emerged on the winning side on three occasions out of the 14 times the two nations have faced each-other since 1956.
The likely XIs
Martin O’Neill is expected to welcome back Hull City midfielder David Meyler after the 28-year-old missed the first-leg through suspension. He should replace Callum O’Dowda, which will allow Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady a more creative and attacking input as Ireland search for that crucial goal.
The only other likely change is up-front, where Shane Long could come in for Daryl Murphy who cut an isolated figure in the first-leg.
For the visitors, head-coach Age Hareide could make changes in the forward department. Nicklas Bendtner and Yussuf Poulsen both made appearances off the bench on Saturday, and the pair will likely be pushing for a start in Dublin this evening.
Aside from that, it should be as you were for the Danes who will continue to match Ireland’s robust 4-5-1 formation with their own 4-3-3 system, making particular use of Christian Eriksen.
The second-leg will likely take the same shape as the first, which will mean Ireland need to stem the influence of Eriksen in the Denmark midfield.
However, O’Neill’s men should be slightly more adventurous going forward in this one. Brady and Hendrick will have more license in midfield and that should create better opportunities for either Long or Murphy up-front.
In what will likely be another close game, you can expect this match to be won on tight margins and for it to go right down to the wire.
Despite having the home advantage, Ireland will start the game as the outsiders at 2/1. That makes Denmark the narrow favourites at 8/5, although it’s the draw which makes most appeal at 17/10.
Four of the seven play-off games so far have ended all square, including all three of the second-leg encounters. With all of those draws coming via a 0-0 scoreline, it could pay to back the goalless stalemate at 17/4.
If you do like the look of the Irish, though, it could be worth siding with Draw/Ireland in the Half-Time/Full-Time market at 5/1. These games are often tight, and with neither side likely to give anything away in the opening exchanges, the vital breakthrough could come in the second-45.
In terms of goalscorers, Jeff Hendrick was the man for the big occasion in the European Championship last summer. He’s 4/1 to score anytime in the contest. Danish midfielder Eriksen has scored in six of his last seven internationals and is 3/1 to resume that run in Dublin.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing