Ireland targeting draw with Denmark; Kilkenny are relying far too much on TJ
Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
The Republic of Ireland squad train at Telia Parken in Copenhagen ahead of Friday night’s match. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Ireland are targeting a draw as they renew their rivalry with Denmark in tonight’s Euro 2020 qualifying match in Copenhagen. The Danes have been held to quite a few draws over the last couple of years, nine in their last 16 games, and Mick McCarthy made no bones whatsoever about the fact that making that 10 in 17 would be enough to have him getting on to the flight for home a very happy man. Denmark’s talisman Christian Eriksen will struggle to find inspiration in facing Ireland, following his Champions League final heartbreak with Spurs. Ken Early writes: “When Ireland come to town every Danish heart sinks a little, and perhaps the already-sunken heart of their key attacker will sink just a little bit more.” Last night England were beaten 3-1 by the Netherlands in their Nations Cup semi-final, with two mistakes in extra-time proving the difference.
In his column this morning (Subscriber Only), Jackie Tyrrell explains why Kilkenny are relying far too much on TJ Reid: “One player shouldering 55 per cent of the scoring total has to be a concern for Kilkenny. It means there’s an obvious starting point for Galway here. TJ is so good and so important, he’s worth sacrificing a really top-class defender to detail him for the day. I don’t mean a really good hurler, I mean an elite defender with natural defending instincts.”