The Lead Story: Kiwis and Danish on the menu for Ireland





As friendlies go, a home fixture in November against New Zealand is right up (or down) there with Oman. It’s understandable from Mick McCarthy’s point of view of course as he looks to tweak his side ahead of the must-win Euro qualifier against Denmark on Monday night…but I can’t imagine tickets will be hard to come by for tonight’s fixture!

  Ireland’s final Euro 2020 qualifier seems to be arriving at the wrong time for the Boys in Green who have lost exciting prospect Aaron Connelly to injury, while at the time of going to print there are also doubts over goalkeeper Darren Randolph.

  McCarthy and Co. will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the last time these two had a November rendezvous in Dublin, when Denmark hammered Ireland 5-1 en route to a World Cup 2018 play-off win two years ago.

  The Danes have a number of impressive players of course, not least Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and Spurs playmaker Christian Eriksen. Irish fans will be hoping Eriksen’s sulky early season form continues into Monday’s showdown as they look to seal qualification for next summer’s European Championships.

  While there’s currently a dearth of exciting attacking options in the senior team, Ireland are more often than not a difficult proposition for visiting sides in front of their passionate home support. That’s good because the Boys in Green will need all the help they can get if they are to secure the three points on Monday.

  Speaking of passionate home support, there was an interesting moment during the recent Unite the Union (?) Champions Cup Final between Dundalk and Linfield at Oriel Park, a game Dundalk won 6-0 to wrap up a 7-1 aggregate win.

  Announcing the Man of the Match award at the end of the night, the Dundalk public announcer clearly couldn’t stomach the official title of the competition…

  PA: “And the Unite the Nation…I mean Union, Man of the Match is…”

  An honest mistake I’m sure!