Sunday, December 8, 2019

Prediction: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 3/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Knowing that nothing less than three-points could possibly see them secure an automatic route to EURO 2020, the Republic of Ireland will welcome Group D leaders Denmark to Dublin on Monday night.

Republic of Ireland

Starting with the hosts, while the Republic of Ireland may already have a play-off spot in the bag for next year’s European Championships their chances of reaching EURO 2020 automatically took a major dent last month. Suffering a 2-0 loss away in Switzerland before the Reds head out to Group D whipping boys Gibraltar also on Monday night, there is no doubt that Mick McCarthy’s men will be glad to make a return to Dublin next week. Battling from behind to pick up a 3-1 win over New Zealand in a friendly contest at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday night, the Greens have won four of their last five matches across all competitions on home soil and the former Ipswich boss has seen his men not taste defeat in the Irish capital since November 2018. Although McCarthy’s men have gained a reputation for their defensive resolve, it should be noted that Monday’s hosts have recorded just one clean sheet in their last five matches across all formats and they have also failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last three appearances in Dublin.

Team News

Head Coach Mick McCarthy has confirmed that Brighton winger Aaron Connolly will not feature on Monday.

Captain Seamus Coleman will miss Monday’s matchup in Dublin duo to suspension.

Denmark

As for the visitors, putting in another dominant display and putting six past Gibraltar on Friday, Denmark have arguably saved their best qualifying performances for the back end of their campaign. Securing their spot at EURO 2020 and now simply looking to land top spot in Group D, Age Hareide’s men have won their last three straight matches across all competitions and are the only nation in Group D to boast an unbeaten record during qualifying. Along with now recording five clean sheets on the bounce and going over 500 minutes without picking the ball out of their own net, one man who has continued to shine for the Danes this year is playmaker and skipper, Christian Eriksen. Bagging a late brace against Gibraltar last time out, the Tottenham man has bagged four goals in his last four qualifying appearances and will play another vital part in Hareide’s plan on Monday.

Team News

Midfielder Christian Nørgaard and goalkeeper Jesper Hansen could make their debuts for Denmark on Monday night.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two nations met back in June they played out a 1-1 draw.
  • Each of the last three meetings between Ireland and Denmark have seen under 2.5 goals at full-time.
  • The Danes are the only nation in Group D who are unbeaten during qualifying.
  • Monday’s guests have also now recorded five clean sheets on the bounce across all formats.
  • Ireland have not lost a match in Dublin since November 2018.

Conclusion

While Ireland will be more than aware that a victory on Monday would see them land an automatic spot at EURO 2020, Mick McCarthy will know that his side face a stern test in Dublin. With Denmark arguably saving their best performances for the back end of qualifying and the only side in Group D yet to taste defeat this year, we’re backing another cagey encounter between the two nations. With each of the last three meetings between the two nations producing under 2.5 goals at full-time, a similar outcome seems to be the smartest bet for Monday night.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 3/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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