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Jun 7, 2019 at 7.45pm UK
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Denmark vs. Republic of Ireland: Five talking points

Denmark vs. Republic of Ireland: Five talking points
© Reuters
Ireland opened their campaign with wins over Gibraltar and Georgia.

Mick McCarthy's Republic of Ireland head into their Euro 2020 qualifier in Denmark on Friday evening sitting proudly at the top of Group D.

But after opening their campaign with narrow victories over Gibraltar and Georgia in March, sterner tests lie ahead, with the Danes familiar foes after four previous meetings inside the last 18 months.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some of the talking points surrounding the game at the Telia Parken Stadium.

Right old battle

It is McCarthy's misfortune to have perhaps his two most effective Premier League players fighting for the same right-back position. Skipper Seamus Coleman has made the spot his own but Matt Doherty starred for Wolves as a right-wing-back this season, and the manager understandably wants to get both men into his team if possible. By his own admission, playing the pair on the right in Gibraltar did not work, so either leaving one out, or finding the best way to accommodate both represents one of his biggest decisions.

Role for Robbie?

Robbie Brady celebrates after scoring The Republic of Ireland's winner against Italy at Euro 2016
Robbie Brady celebrates after scoring the Republic of Ireland's winner against Italy at Euro 2016. (Chris Radburn/PA)

Robbie Brady returned from the Euro 2016 finals in France after establishing himself as a genuine senior international but the going since has been significantly tougher. Injuries and a lack of form have led to a reduced role for club Burnley in recent months, and while his set-piece delivery is one of Ireland's most potent weapons, his place in the starting XI is far from guaranteed.

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Glenn Whelan needed no second invitation when McCarthy called him to ask if he had retired from international football. A stalwart of 86 caps, his days in the green jersey looked to have drawn to a close when Martin O'Neill seemingly handed him a farewell appearance against Northern Ireland in November last year but he is back in the fold and ready to fight for a place in McCarthy's engine room. Despite his recent release by Aston Villa in the wake of their return to the Premier League, he has every chance of starting.

Misery in Madrid

Much of the talk in the run-up to the game has centred around Denmark's mercurial midfielder Christian Eriksen and how much of a toll Saturday night's Champions League final defeat by Liverpool will have taken on the Tottenham playmaker. McCarthy, however – and every player asked to offer an opinion – have insisted what happened in Madrid will be irrelevant and they expect the man who famously scored a World Cup play-off hat-trick in Dublin in November 2017 to be as dangerous as ever.

The Gold-en boy

David McGoldrick in action during the Republic of Ireland's 1-0 Euro 2020 qualifier victory over Georgia
David McGoldrick during the Republic of Ireland's 1-0 Euro 2020 qualifier victory over Georgia. (Niall Carson/PA)

The Republic have been crying out for a goalscorer since Robbie Keane hung up his well-worn boots in August 2016. Shane Long, who has contributed important goals for his country in the past, reported for duty in a rich vein of form after scoring four times in his last seven games to help Southampton clinch Premier League survival. However, a hamstring injury in training ended his hopes of running out in Copenhagen and it could be David McGoldrick whom McCarthy turns to again after the Sheffield United man starred in both his club's promotion to the top flight and Ireland's victories over Gibraltar and Georgia.

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United StatesUnited States14161141
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia10141034
Great BritainGreat Britain69924
Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Pre-Season Friendlies
Olympic Games Men's Football
Scottish Premiership
Portuguese Super Cup
Taca da Liga
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Finnish Veikkausliiga
League of Ireland Premier
Belarusian Premier League
Ligue 2
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Chinese Super League

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