Big Match Breakdown: Republic of Ireland v Denmark
Preview, odds and tips for friendly clash
It’s crunch time in Dublin this evening, as Republic of Ireland take on World Cup play-off conquerors Denmark in a crucial Nations League match.
Martin O’Neill’s men require all three points if they’re to retain any realistic hope of overhauling their visitors in League B Group 4. You can follow the action live on Sky Sports Football from 7:45pm.
Christian Eriksen tore Ireland apart when the two sides last met at the Aviva Stadium. The Tottenham Hotspur ace hit a hat-trick as the Danes sent their hosts packing with a 5-1 victory to secure their own World Cup berth.
That remains their sole victory over the Irish since 1985. Shane Long and Robbie Keane each scored a brace the last time tonight’s hosts triumphed against Denmark in 2007.
Ireland look set to pack out the midfield, with Conor Hourihane, Jeff Hendrick and Harry Arter candidates for central roles. James McClean and Callum O’Dowda will provide both width and cover, with Shane Long the focal point in a lone striking role.
Denmark boss Age Hareide could have to do without the talismanic Eriksen. The Spurs ace is likely to miss the match as he recovers from an abdominal injury. That’ll force a reshuffle in formation, with a 4-3-3 set up likely to make use of Andreas Christensen in a defensive midfield role. Kasper Dolberg is expected to lead the line alongside Yussuf Poulsen and Pione Sisto.
Ireland’s biggest battle tonight could be how they choose to approach the game. Generally, O’Neill tends to go with two banks in defence and midfield in an attempt to soak up pressure and play on the break.
But that’s not proved very effective in recent times. The Irish have averaged less than 40% possession in four of their last five matches. They’ve failed to pick up victory in each of those. With the talismanic Eriksen missing for Denmark tonight, could that signal a change of approach?
There are no standout players to be afraid of in this Danish side. So it’s up to Arter and Hendrick to get Ireland playing on the front foot. O’Dowda and McClean should provide plenty of width to stretch their opponents.
Despite their home advantage, Ireland are the outsiders this evening at 21/10. Denmark are 31/20 to follow up their success in November last year with another victory in Dublin. You can back the draw at 2/1.
The Coral traders have Shane Long level with Callum Robinson at 13/5 apiece to Score Anytime. Ajax ace Dolberg shares favouritism with Andres Cornelius and Martin Braithwaite for the visitors, with each member of the trio priced at 13/5.
Click here for the latest Republic of Ireland v Denmark odds from Coral.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing