Ireland and Denmark prepare to battle it out for final World Cup place

By Ben Emmott

It’s the biggest night in 15 years for the Republic of Ireland, hosting Denmark in the second leg of their World Cup qualifier play-off at the Aviva Stadium.

With the aggregate score at 0-0, Ireland must win to ensure they book their place in Russia as any score draw will put Denmark through on the away goal rule.

There is no injury concerns for either side, but Ireland will be boosted with the return of David Meyler, who missed the first leg through suspension.

Ireland boss, Martin O’Neill, speaking to Sky Sport, believes that his side can get the win and making their first major tournament since they played in EURO 2012:

“We’ll try and be a bit more expansive if we can but we’ve got to find a way to win a match. These players have been able to do that the last couple of years.”

Denmark, as well as Ireland, have not qualified for the World Cup since 2002 in South Korea and Japan. Expectedly, both teams come in on good form with Ireland having lost one of their games in their qualifying group, whereas Denmark have not lost in five competitive away games.

Speaking to The Independent, Tottenham Hotspurs talisman and Danish captain Christian Eriksen appeared bold, fancying his side’s chances when they travel to the Aviva Stadium:

“They were the away team, they wanted to stop us from scoring,” Eriksen said. “I can’t blame them… I feel we will have our chance in Dublin, I’m really confident.”

History gives Ireland the edge

The two countries have met 14 times, with Ireland being victorious five times and Denmark winning three and the sides finishing level six times.

The fixture normally has a lot of goals, with 36 being scored over the 14 fixtures. Ireland have scored 20 of the goals and Denmark hit the back of the net 16 times.

On the 14th November 1984, Denmark beat the Republic of Ireland 3-0. Danish fans will take that score line when the sides meet in the game which will decide who makes it to the World Cup.

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