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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019
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Do you agree with our Ireland team to face Denmark?

Mick McCarthy has some tough selection calls ahead of Friday’s game.

Goalkeeper and defence

DARREN RANDOLPH IS guaranteed to start barring any unexpected last-minute injuries, with the inexperienced duo of Sean McDermott and James Talbot in reserve.

There are unlikely to be too many surprises in the back four. John Egan’s impressive season with Sheffield United could give Mick McCarthy pause for thought, though it would be somewhat of a surprise if he strayed from the back four he picked against Georgia, comprising of Enda Stevens, Shane Duffy, Richard Keogh and Seamus Coleman.

Midfield

In midfield, Conor Hourihane and Glenn Whelan are coming off the back of play-off glory with Aston Villa, albeit the latter’s joy will have been tempered by subsequent news of his release by the club. Both played against Georgia and both will likely start in Copenhagen, while Jeff Hendrick is also expected to retain his place. Josh Cullen is the only obvious natural alternative in central midfield, and while he enjoyed a decent season, helping Charlton get promoted during a successful loan spell from West Ham, it would be a big ask for the 23-year-old, who has yet to be capped at senior level.

Wings

Probably the area where the competition is strongest and the identity of the starters is not so clear cut. James McClean is expected to retain his place on the left, though McCarthy may be strongly tempted to choose Matt Doherty over Robbie Brady. The former has had a better season at club level and would provide greater defensive solidity in a game where Ireland are likely to go long spells without the ball against a Danish team who have the superior individual players.

Brady could be a useful alternative from the bench, while Callum O’Dowda, Ronan Curtis, Callum Robinson and Alan Judge are also decent options out wide if a change of plan is required.

Attack

Shane Long being ruled out means it looks like being a fairly straightforward option for McCarthy, with David ‘Didzy’ McGoldrick impressing with his hold-up play and intelligence in the defeat of Georgia last March. Scott Hogan and Sean Maguire could be sprung from the bench but are unlikely to start, having failed to look particularly impressive in previous Ireland matches in which opportunities came their way.

ire

Republic of Ireland Squad
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph, Sean McDermott, James Talbot.
Defenders: Seamus Coleman, Matt Doherty, Shane Duffy, Richard Keogh, Kevin Long, John Egan, Greg Cunningham, Enda Stevens.
Midfielders: Alan Judge, Jeff Hendrick, Josh Cullen, Robbie Brady, Callum O’Dowda, James McClean, Ronan Curtis, Conor Hourihane, Glenn Whelan.
Forwards: David McGoldrick, Sean Maguire, Callum Robinson, Scott Hogan.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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