Saturday 11 Nov

Denmark vs Ireland - Match Preview

11 Nov 2017 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL: World Cup Qualification, UEFA Playoffs
INTERNATIONAL: World Cup Qualification, UEFA Playoffs

Denmark

  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

vs

Kick-off
19:45 GMT
11 November 2017

Ireland

  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W

Kick-off
19:45 GMT 11 November 2017

The next major international tournament is on the horizon as we get closer to the FIFA World Cup in Russia next summer and we already know the majority of the nations who will be there next year. However, the final few are still yet to be decided and this will be done through the use of playoffs. Two of the European sides who are relying on these playoffs to secure their place are Denmark and Republic and Ireland and they will meet over two legs to see which team will be in Russia. The first leg will be played in Copenhagen before the teams return to Dublin for the second-leg.

STATS

  • Denmark had a very solid qualifying campaign and may even see themselves as unlucky not to secure the automatic qualification place in Group E. They were beaten to top spot by a Poland side who won eight of their ten matches so it was probably a fair outcome in the end. Denmark smashed the group winners 4-0 at home but then lost 3-2 in the opposite fixture, the one that may have cost them that all important first place.
  • Republic of Ireland will be happy to even be in the play-off position after finishing above Euro 2016 semi-finalists, Wales in Group D. Just two points separated them from first-placed Serbia and they could have already guaranteed qualification if they had picked up an extra few points. A James McClean winner in the away match in Wales secured their play-off place while it confirmed Wales’ elimination from qualifying.
  • It was a familiar face who was the main man behind Denmark’s qualification push as Christian Eriksen scored eight goals in ten games to power his side to second place. The Tottenham playmaker was the highest scoring midfielder in European qualifying.
  • It was James McClean who provided Ireland’s main attacking threat in Group D and with four goals from the wings, only one player scored more goals in the group.

HEAD TO HEAD

This two-legged affair will be the 14th and 15th meetings between the two nations and probably the most important. Republic of Ireland have avoided defeat in each of the last four meetings with two wins from the last two, scoring seven goals in the process without conceding. The last time a Denmark side overcame Ireland was during qualification for the 1986 World Cup where the Danes won both clashes.

DENMARK NEWS

It is imperative that Denmark avoid defeat at home in the first-leg as a loss in the first match makes it almost impossible to claw it back in Dublin. They will be relying on the firepower of Christian Eriksen going forward and the safe hands of Leicester goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel in between the sticks.

Latest matches: Denmark

08.10.2017 Worl Denmark Romania 1:1 D
05.10.2017 Worl Montenegro Denmark 0:1 W
04.09.2017 Worl Armenia Denmark 1:4 W
01.09.2017 Worl Denmark Poland 4:0 W
10.06.2017 Worl Kazakhstan Denmark 1:3 W

IRELAND NEWS

A win or draw for Republic of Ireland would put them in an extremely commanding position going into the home second-leg but they must make sure the tie isn’t out-of-reach. David Meyler is banned for the first-leg and is expected to be replaced by veteran, Glenn Whelan while Jeff Hendrick has been passed as fit to play.

Latest matches: Ireland

09.10.2017 Worl Wales Ireland 0:1 W
06.10.2017 Worl Ireland Moldova 2:0 W
05.09.2017 Worl Ireland Serbia 0:1 L
02.09.2017 Worl Georgia Ireland 1:1 D
11.06.2017 Worl Ireland Austria 1:1 D

SUMMARY

Out of all the World Cup play-off ties, this one is probably the hardest to call with two strong teams at similar stages in terms of quality. I think Denmark will take a slight lead into the second-leg as they have a slight advantage but anything other than a loss will be very successful for Ireland and they will be fired up to come away with a result. Over two legs, it is too close to call but Denmark should be taking a lead into the second-leg on Tuesday.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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