Republic of Ireland and Denmark go head-to-head in the first leg of what promises to be a nerve-shredding World Cup qualification play-off fixture in Copenhagen on Saturday night.
Martin O’Neill’s men looked likely to come up short in their bid to reach the play-offs as they travelled to Cardiff for their final Group D game, knowing that anything less than a victory would see them eliminated; the Boys in Green, though, claimed a superb 1-0 win against Chris Coleman’s charges to send Wales, semi-finalists at last summer’s European Championships, crashing out of the competition.
Ireland, however, know that they still face a tough test if they are to reach Russia, for Denmark will be desperate to qualify for the finals as they missed out on a place at the 2016 European Championships after suffering an agonising play-off defeat against Sweden.
Age Hareide’s side boast an impressive home record, having been beaten in just one of their last 10 matches on home turf – a sequence of results that includes a fantastic 4-0 thumping of Group E winners Poland, back in September - so it is no real surprise that Denmark are as short as 18/25 (1.72) with Betsafe to seize the initiative in the tie with a win in this one.
The Danes, though, have serious injury concerns surrounding a number of key men and Ireland may see this tie as an opportunity to build an advantage ahead of next week’s crucial second leg encounter in Dublin.
Ireland were unbeaten in their five World Cup qualifiers away from home, winning in Vienna and Chisinau, as well as that vital victory in Cardiff last month.
As such, the 46/10 (5.60) quote for the visitors to come out on top looks to be somewhat generous, while Betsafe offer 12/5 (3.40) that the Boys in Green secure a draw in the Danish capital – an outcome that would likely delight O’Neill and his team.
Defensive discipline will undoubtedly be critical in this clash, for Denmark have conceded only eight goals during their qualifying campaign so far, while Ireland shipped just six goals in their 10 Group D games; as such, Betsafe offer just 13/25 (1.52) that there are fewer than three goals scored on Saturday night.
This looks certain to be a tight, tense affair but there is a chance that the Boys in Green have been underestimated by the odds compilers; Ireland are available at 53/50 (2.06) in Betsafe’s double chance market and that price could well provide punters with a path to profit ahead of Saturday’s showdown in Copenhagen.
|Ireland to draw or win at 53/50 (2.06) for a 1pt stake with Betsafe|