Republic of Ireland are one step away from reaching the World Cup in Russia and will be determined to record a positive result at Denmark’s Parken Stadium in Copenhagen in order to boost their chances ahead of the return leg.
Christian Eriksen leads way for Denmark
Denmark have missed out on the last two major international tournaments and are determined to end the negative run by finding their way into the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Danes finished the group stage of the qualifiers second behind leaders Poland and are forced to go through nail-biting play-offs in order to fight for a place in the final showpiece tournament. They have enjoyed a fairly successful qualifying campaign, having lost only two of ten games and conceded just eight goals. Christian Eriksen led his nation forward with eight goals and three assists, thus scoring more goals than any other midfielder during the qualifiers. Tottenham star is the biggest threat in his national team and will once again be expected to create chances for his teammates and produce something special to help his team win.
Defender Simon Kjaer has recovered from a hamstring problem he picked up in Sevilla’s defeat to Barcelona.
The 20-year-old Ajax forward Kasper Dolberg is expected to be given a starting change against Republic of Ireland.
Republic out to end a 16-year wait
Republic of Ireland have last been a part of the World Cup company back in 2002 and will be extremely keen to end their 16 years long wait.
Martin O’Neil’s charges finished the group stages second to Serbia thanks to a 1-0 win over direct rivals Wales in the final match of the qualifying. The tally of 19 points was enough to edge out Welsh Dragon and the Republic will be keen to keep the momentum going. O’Neil’s men travel to Denmark on the back of successive wins over Moldova and Wales and should be taken quite seriously given the fine form and strong appearances they displayed during the qualifiers. Republic of Ireland are unbeaten in their last four clashes with Denmark with Shane Long scoring twice in Republic’s last visit. Good news for Martin O’Neil and his team is that Republic of Ireland have only lost one of their last five away play-off qualifiers.
Jeff Hendrick bounced back from his muscle issue and will be available for selection together with Stephen Ward who is in full fitness for Denmark.
James McCarthy, Jonathan Walters and Richard Keogh are injured, while Midfielder David Meyer is unavailable through suspension.
Republic of Ireland are likely to adopt a defensive tactic in Denmark and wait for their chances from the counter. It’s the approach that go them thus far and they are expected to go with it again.
Top pick: Under 2.5 goals 1.54 (8/15) @Unibet
Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score – No 1.65 (13/20) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Denmark to win to Nil 2.54 (20/13) @188bet