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Can the Republic of Ireland Banish their Danish Demons?

November 13, 2019

If there has been one team that has been the nemesis of the Republic of Ireland in recent qualifying competitions for major tournaments, then that team is likely to be Denmark. This week, the two teams will renew their rivalry once again in Dublin with a place in the Euro 2020 finals next summer likely to be the reward for the winner.

For the loser, it could mean a place in the Nations League Playoffs at best, or at worst, elimination from the tournament which is set to be played across Europe next summer, at a variety of different venues, in celebration of 60 years since the first European Championships tournament that was held in France and which featured just four teams, the Soviet Union (who won the tournament), Yugoslavia (runner’s up), Czechoslovakia and France.

Given how tight things are in this group, it does look like only a win for Ireland would be enough for them to pip the Danes to an assured spot in the finals next summer, all of which sets up an exciting evening in Dublin on Monday night.

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Let’s now preview this massive clash on Monday evening for the Irish.

Republic of Ireland v Denmark Preview

Head to Head Record

  • Matches Played – 18
  • Ireland Wins – 5
  • Denmark Wins – 5
  • Draws – 9

Historic Results

  • Oct 1956 – Republic of Ireland 2-1 Denmark (World Cup Qualifier)
  • Oct 1957 – Denmark 0-2 Republic of Ireland (World Cup Qualifier)
  • Dec 1968 – Republic of Ireland 1-1 Denmark (World Cup Qualifier)
  • May 1969 – Denmark 2-0 Republic of Ireland (World Cup Qualifier)
  • Oct 1969 – Republic of Ireland 1-1 Denmark (World Cup Qualifier)
  • May 1978 – Denmark 3-3 Republic of Ireland (Euro 1980 Qualifier)
  • May 1979 – Republic of Ireland 2-0 Denmark (Euro 1980 Qualifier)
  • Nov 1984 – Denmark 3-0 Republic of Ireland (World Cup Qualifier)
  • Nov 1985 – Republic of Ireland 1-4 Denmark (World Cup Qualifier)
  • Oct 1992 – Denmark 0-0 Republic of Ireland (World Cup Qualifier)
  • Apr 1993 – Republic of Ireland 1-1 Denmark (World Cup Qualifier)
  • Mar 2002 – Republic of Ireland 3-0 Denmark (Friendly)
  • Aug 2007 – Denmark 0-4 Republic of Ireland (Friendly)
  • Nov 2017 – Denmark 0-0 Republic of Ireland (World Cup Playoff 1st Leg)
  • Nov 2017 – Republic of Ireland 1-5 Denmark (World Cup Playoff 2nd Leg)
  • Oct 2018 – Republic of Ireland 0-0 Denmark (Nations League)
  • Nov 2019 – Denmark 0-0 Republic of Ireland (Nations League)
  • Jun 2019 – Denmark 1-1 Republic of Ireland (Euro 2020 Qualifier)


  • Four of the last five games between the teams have finished as draws, three of those games finishing goalless.
  • Six of the last nine games have also finished as draws, with another 0-0 in that selection of games.
  • Ireland have not beaten Denmark for 12 years. In a qualifying or competitive fixture (not a friendly game) Ireland’s last win over Denmark was back in May 1979.
  • Denmark are unbeaten in their last 13 games, winning seven of those games and drawing six.

Squad News

Denmark will be missing a number of regulars for this game with notable absentees in attack including Pione Sisto, Nicolai Jorgensen and Yussuf Poulsen. Chelsea’ defender Andreas Christensen is also absent as is Jens Stryger Larsen.

Simon Kjaer will captain the team with Martin Brathwaite expected to take over from Poulsen in attack.

Probable Team – (4-5-1) – Schmeichel, Ankersen, Andersen, Dalsgaard, Kjaer, Schone, Hobjerg, Delaney, Eriksen, Wass, Brathwaite.

Ireland were dealt a blow when youngster Aaron Connolly was ruled out of the squad through injury, he joins the suspended Seamus Coleman in being the biggest absentees for the Irish for this crucial game in Dublin.

Celtic youngster Lee O’Connor has earned a chance at his first cap, as has Troy Parrott from Tottenham. With just two goals between them in international football, scoring goals looks like being the main problem for Ireland and you can expect Mick McCarthy’s team to keep things tight and perhaps match the Danes’ starting formation.

Probable Team – (4-5-1) – Randolph, Stevens, Doherty, Duffy, Clark, Whelan, Hendrick, Brady, McClean, Hourihane, McGoldrick.

Republic of Ireland v Denmark Prediction and Tip

Assuming that Denmark win their home game with Gibraltar on the Thursday, the Danes will head into this game knowing a draw or a win will be enough for them to qualify for Euro 2020. For the Irish, it will mean nothing less than a win will suffice.

That could be problematic for a team that has a strike force that has scored just two international goals between them and whose leading goalscorer, James McLean, has netted just ten goals.

However, the Danes are missing a number of key players in attack, most notably Sisto and Poulsen and that could well give Ireland a chance, given how strong their defence has been over the course of the qualifying campaign.

If the Irish defence can keep Denmark quiet in attack, then they could perhaps nab the victory thanks to a single goal, perhaps from a set piece or similar play.

The key area for me though will be midfield and whoever comes out on top of that area of the game will likely decide who makes it to the finals next summer.

Tip – We’re backing Ireland to come through with a narrow 1-0 win.

About Ian John

Ian John
Working my way though the UK's top online poker sites (and some of the ones near the bottom as well) to bring you a first-hand take on the absolute best choices for online poker players from the UK.