Denmark v Republic of Ireland: Cagey First Leg in Store

Over the next few days, the final places in football’s biggest tournament will be decided as the build up to Russia 2018 continues. For some players, this will be a defining moment in their careers with play offs promising either joy or heartbreak and nothing inbetween.

One of the most intriguing ties sees Denmark take on the Republic in what looks to be a battle between two evenly matched sides. Both finished second in tough qualifying groups but who will have the edge that takes them all the way to Russia?

Match Odds

The first leg takes place at Telia Park in Copenhagen this Saturday and Denmark have a clear advantage according to the bookmakers. The home side are favourites to win on the night at best odds of 7/9 with 188Bet while the Irish are a significant outsider at a top price of 5/1 with bet365 and Paddy Power.

The draw completes the market at a best of 129/50 with MarathonBet and remember, those are the odds for a win in 90 minutes only. Taking the two legs into account and considering the ‘To Qualify’ betting, Denmark remain strong favourites at best odds of 5/7 with 10Bet while Ireland shorten to 11/8 with SkyBet and Boylesports.

Taking Friday’s game in isolation, the stats can favour both sides. In head-to-head matches, Ireland come out on top with five wins in thirteen games and five draws as opposed to Denmark’s three victories. The Danes, meanwhile, have only lost once at home during their previous eight matches but the telling issue could be Ireland’s roll call of absentees.

James McCarthy, Richard Keogh and Sean Maguire are definitely ruled out with injury while Jeff Hendrick is struggling with a back complaint. In addition, David Meyler is suspended for the first leg and while Denmark are virtually at full strength, the bookmakers seem to have got this right.

Individual Goal Scorers

Nicolai Jorgensen

First goal scorer betting is dominated by Danish names and it’s Nicolai Jorgensen who starts as favourite to find the net first at best odds of 9/2 with bet365. Jorgensen plays for Feyenoord and has a prolific record in Dutch football to go alongside eight goals in 25 matches for Denmark.

Strike partner Andreas Cornelius is only slightly further back at a top price of 23/5 with Sport Pesa and he may be the better option. He has started brightly in a tough Italian Serie A with Atalanta and has a habit of scoring important goals.

Nicklas Bendtner is a well-known figure who is on offer at a best of 5/1 with bet365 while Christian Eriksen is an option from midfield at best odds of 13/2 with BetFred. All of those players sit ahead of the first Irish name – Shane Long at a top price of 17/2 with Unibet and 888Sport.

Other options for the away team include David McGoldrick at a best of 9/1 with BetFred and Daryl Murphy at 10/1 with Paddy Power. The name that really interests us however is that of Eriksen who scored for Spurs against Real Madrid last week and has 18 goals for the Danish national team.

He takes the set pieces, is a key player for the Danes and is our tip in the anytime market at 49/20 with Winner Sports for a goal in 90 minutes.

Other Side Bets

Taking the popular bets into consideration, you can back Both Teams to Score at best odds of 4/3 with 188Bet. The ‘no’ option here is actually odds on at a best of 4/6 with Ladbrokes but while we expect the Danes to come through with a victory, Ireland will always make it tough for any opponents and they should have at least one goal in them.

While the Irish have those injury and suspension issues, the good news is that they are playing the first leg away from home so while we expect them to lose it, it’s all about damage limitation.

A correct score of 2-1 to the Danes at 33/4 with SportPesa could be a worthy addition to the following list of tips for one of the most intriguing of this week’s play offs.

Best Bets

  • Denmark to win at 7/9 with 188Bet
  • Both Teams to Score at 4/3 with 188Bet
  • Christian Eriksen to score anytime at 49/20 with Winner Sports
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