Ireland v Denmark: All you need to know ahead of second leg
Martin O’Neill’s men just one game away from qualifying for a first World Cup in 15 years
Ireland players during their pre-match huddle ahead of the first leg of their 2018 World Cup qualifying playoff in Copenhagen. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho
So, what’s happening on Tuesday?
The Republic of Ireland are playing Denmark in the second leg of their 2018 World Cup qualifying playoff.
What time is it at?
Kick off is at 7.45pm in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Can I get tickets?
It’s a bit too late for that unfortunately. Tickets sold out in no time when they went on sale with some of the biggest demand for tickets for an Ireland game in a long time. Unless you’re willing to pay out some big money you’ll have to make do with following the game in other ways.
And what are those ways?
There are plenty of options with the one most highly recommended, even if we do say so ourselves, The Irish Times liveblog which will start at 7pm on www.irishtimes.com/sport. For your second screen, you can tune into live coverage on RTÉ2 at 7pm or on Sky Sports Main Event at 7.30pm. There will also be live radio coverage on RTÉ Radio 1 from 7pm.
What are Ireland’s chances?
After the 0-0 draw in Copenhagen in Saturday’s first leg, our chances are fairly decent but the Danes will also be confident that they can go through. While on paper the advantage is with us slightly given that we play at home in the second leg and we didn’t lose in the first leg, there’s a point to be made that the Danes in fact have the upper hand. That’s because if they score it means that Ireland must score two to have any chance of advancing thanks to the away goals rule. That certainly lessens our chances given the fact that Martin O’Neill’s men have only managed to score more than once on three occasions during their 10 qualifying games. And, in two of those matches, they were playing bottom of the table Moldova.
So it’s going to be very close then. But will it be a better watch than the far-from-action-packed first leg?
Obviously it’s impossible to say but you have to imagine it will be another very close game. Martin O’Neill will more than likely be happy to keep it at 0-0 for at least the first hour and then take a chance from there. Stopping Denmark is imperative given the connotations in terms of away goals. Expect a game similar to that in Cardiff against Wales and let’s just hope someone can step up like James McClean did and take the chance when it falls to them.
So we could be looking at extra-time and penalties?
We certainly could be, given the points made above. However, only another 0-0 draw will bring it to extra-time so if Robbie Brady sticks on in the top corner after five minutes you’ll at least be assured that it won’t be a late night.
What are the bookies saying?
That there’s little or nothing between these two teams is reflected in the bookies odds with Paddy Power pricing Ireland at 21/10, Denmark at 8/5 and the draw at 2/1. Those are the odds to win in 90 minutes while Ireland are 6/4 to qualify for Russia with Denmark the favourites at 1/2.
And if we win, we’re going to Russia, correct?
That is correct. A win for Martin O’Neill’s men – however it might come – will guarantee Ireland a place in the World Cup for the first time since 2002.
Do we have any players missing?
Aside from the long term injuries to Seamus Coleman, Jonathan Walters and James McCarthy, Martin O’Neill will have a full squad to choose from with David Meyler returning from the suspension which ruled him out of the first leg.
But didn’t we have nearly a full team on yellow cards going into Saturday’s game?
We certainly did with goalkeeper Darren Randolph even carrying a booking. However, referee Milorad Mazic went the whole game without showing a single card meaning that Randolph, Ciaran Clark, Shane Duffy, Cyrus Christie, Stephen Ward, Daryl Murphy, James McClean, Harry Arter, Glenn Whelan and Aiden McGeady are all available for selection tomorrow as well as the nine Danes who also escaped yellow cards.
So, if we win, when is the draw for the World Cup?
The draw will take place on December 1st in the Kremlin in Moscow. After that the fixtures will be released and routes to Russia can be planned.
And finally, what’s the prediction?
Ireland to win on penalties. Currently priced at 22/1 on Paddy Power.