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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 27 June, 2019
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Do you agree with our Ireland team to face Denmark?

Martin O’Neill faces some tough calls ahead of Monday’s Nations League game.

Goalkeeper and Defence

DARREN RANDOLPH, who was one of the few Republic players who impressed against the North, is likely to start in goals for the Irish team.

Ireland have struggled to convince as a unit with the 3-5-2 system, so 4-4-2 is perhaps worth reverting to at this stage.

John Egan played well on Thursday, but is out through injury. Darragh Lenihan, by contrast, appeared nervy at times and was almost responsible for two goals for the opposition, after conceding possession cheaply and allowing the North to counter. Given the relatively low stakes of the game, it would be surely be no harm trying out Manchester United youngster Lee O’Connor alongside Shane Duffy at the back. Enda Stevens has done reasonably well in previous appearances, so could start at full-back, while Seamus Coleman generally tends to look better as a right-back rather than at wing-back.

Midfield

Jeff Hendrick has been disappointing too often for the Boys in Green lately, and so could perhaps do with being taken out of the firing line, at least for a game or two. Ireland’s options are relatively limited, with just seven midfielders/wingers to choose from due to injury and suspension. Harry Arter and David Meyler both excelled in the team’s last competitive win over Wales, and so perhaps deserve another chance to play together in Aarhus. With James McClean suspended, Robbie Brady and Callum O’Dowda are the two obvious options out wide.

Attack

Ireland play plenty of long balls under O’Neill, so it would be no harm having someone with a degree of presence in attack, and Aiden O’Brien seems the obvious choice in this regard. Martin O’Neill indicated on Thursday that Michael Obafemi was a player for the future rather than the present, but Ireland have relatively little to lose on Monday, so it seems like the ideal time to try him out and see what he is capable of.

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Ireland XI: Randolph; Coleman, Duffy, O’Connor, Stevens; O’Dowda, Meyler, Arter, Brady, Obafemi, O’Brien.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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