Northern Ireland vs Denmark
Northern Ireland vs Denmark
Kick-Off at 20:45 (GMT+1)
On Monday, Denmark heads to Belfast to take on Northern Ireland, having secured their place at Euro 2024 on matchday nine. Their recent 2-1 victory against Slovenia at Parken ensures Kasper Hjulmand’s leadership will guide the nation to their third consecutive major competition.
Already assured of their spot in the upcoming finals and the honor of winning the group, Denmark now aims to secure three more points in hopes of landing a pot one seeding. While a draw secures a pot two placing, a potential slip-up by Spain against Georgia, paired with a Denmark win, could elevate them to pot one.
Playing without the weight of expectations could work in Denmark’s favor, especially after Thomas Delaney’s decisive goal on Friday, marking their recovery from a shaky start.
Despite an impeccable record in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers with nine consecutive wins and eight clean sheets, Denmark faced challenges this time around. Unexpected defeats and close calls, like the loss in Kazakhstan and a narrow win against San Marino, suggest Hjulmand’s side might not be at the peak they were during their Euro 2020 semi-final run.
As former champions in 1992, Denmark aspires for a stronger performance than their last major tournament exit in the Qatar World Cup group stage, aiming for redemption.
In contrast, Northern Ireland concludes a challenging campaign, plagued by turmoil on the international stage. Suffering a 4-0 loss in Finland on Friday marked their seventh defeat out of nine in the group.
Their only respites came in victories against San Marino, the lowest-ranked nation globally, as their encounters with Denmark included a controversial VAR decision disallowing Callum Marshall’s potential equalizer in the 94th minute.
Their challenging journey comes to an end here, without the possibility of a playoff spot, following a disappointing Nations League showing last year. Struggling against Cyprus, losses against Greece and Kosovo, and a record of only three wins in 16 competitive matches leave Northern Ireland outside contention at the top.
Recent injuries have sidelined Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Paddy Lane, and Brad Lyons from the Northern Ireland squad. Jonny Evans sustained an injury while playing for Manchester United in Denmark during the Champions League, forcing him to withdraw from the squad.
Shayne Lavery and Ali McCann continue to be absent from the host squad, which might see minimal changes despite their heavy defeat in Helsinki.
Denmark’s coach, Hjulmand, might opt for a robust team given the slim chance of finishing in pot one. However, injuries have led to numerous changes in the squad this month. Matt O’Riley, Mohamed Daramy, and Morten Hjulmand were late additions due to injuries to other players.
Injury woes affected the team further with Robert Skov’s initial withdrawal, followed by Christian Eriksen and Rasmus Hojlund from Manchester United. Jens Stryger Larsen and Jesper Lindstrom were brought in as replacements.
Andreas Skov Olsen joins the sidelined players due to injury, adding to the absence of Simon Kjaer, Philip Billing, Alexander Bah, and Mikkel Damsgaard.
Kasper Schmeichel, the captain and goalkeeper, is set to earn his 99th cap in this match, returning to the British Isles where he spent a significant part of his career.
- Goalkeeper: Hazard
- Defenders: Toal, McNair, Ballard, Hume
- Midfielders: McCausland, Saville, Thompson, Price, Lewis
- Forward: D Charles
- Goalkeeper: Schmeichel
- Defenders: Maehle, Andersen, Christensen, Vestergaard, Kristiansen
- Midfielders: Hojbjerg, Norgaard, Delaney
- Forwards: Wind, Poulsen
*All odds correct at time of writing