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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 24 January, 2019

Callum O'Dowda named in Ireland team to face Denmark in tonight's World Cup play-off

The Boys in Green are away in Copenhagen for the first leg.

Callum O'Dowda (centre) walking the pitch with Cyrus Christie (left) tonight.
Callum O'Dowda (centre) walking the pitch with Cyrus Christie (left) tonight.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

- Ben Blake reports from Copenhagen

IRELAND MANAGER MARTIN O’Neill has gone with an exciting side for tonight’s World Cup play-off first leg in Copenhagen (7.45pm kick-off Irish time).

The Boys in Green take on the Danes at Parken Stadium before returning to Dublin for the return tie on Tuesday, and there is just one change from the team that defeated Wales 1-0 last month.

With David Meyler suspended, he drops out of midfield. O’Neill has opted against a like-for-like replacement by calling up Glenn Whelan — instead turning to young winger Callum O’Dowda.

The 22-year-old has been in excellent form in the Championship for his club Bristol City this season — providing two goals and five assists. At international level, he impressed in his first senior start as Ireland got the better of Moldova in their penultimate group game in October.

Nottingham Forest striker Daryl Murphy keeps his place up front ahead of Shane Long, while Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark captains the side.

IRELAND: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Hendrick, O’Dowda, Brady, McClean; Murphy.
DENMARK: Schmeichel; Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Stryger Larsen; Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen; Cornelius, Jorgensen, Sisto.
  • As proud Energy Partner to the FAI, SSE Airtricity have given us a pair of tickets to the sold-out Republic of Ireland vs Denmark game to give away. You’ll watch the Boys in Green (hopefully) seal World Cup qualification from your premium level seats after enjoying food and refreshments in the Vavasour Suite before the match. To enter simply email with your score prediction for the away leg and we’ll pick a winner from the correct entries on Sunday morning.

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Ben Blake

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