Nerves are jangling ahead of the Republic of Ireland’s UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark in Copenhagen this evening.
With Ireland hosting four matches at Euro 2020 (Ireland will play two matches in Dublin if qualification is successful), the team qualifying for the tournament would be massive for the country, for social, tourism and economic reasons and Denmark in Copenhagen is a real litmus test on the road to qualification.
Ireland will go into the game in buoyant mood having overall played well last time out in a 1-0 win over Georgia at the Aviva Stadium at the end of March, but Denmark in Copenhagen is a very difficult challenge.
The Danes themselves will come into tonight’s game in good spirits having come back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 against Switzerland in Basel at the end of March in the Danes only match of the qualifying campaign so.
If Christian Eriksen can be kept quiet this evening, that’ll go a long way towards Ireland picking up point(s) tonight and Glenn Whelan will likely be key in that regard.
If Eriksen is given license to roam between the lines, as he was when the Danes hammered Ireland 1-5 in Dublin 18 months ago, then it will likely be a very long night for The Boys in Green and of course it’ll take more than one person to keep tabs on the star number 10.
There have been two nil-nil draws between the nations since then, so there are grounds for optimism and there have been improvements since Martin O’Neill departed as Ireland manager the day after the nil-nil draw between the countries in Aarhus back in November.
Most people with Irish interest would take a draw tonight, this observer would be very happy with such a result.