Thursday 21 February 2019

Denmark boss must find solution for left-back berth

Danish left-back Riza Durmisi
Danish left-back Riza Durmisi

Ireland have managed to plug a gap at full-back in the absence of Séamus Coleman due to injury.

But Denmark now have only three weeks to find a player capable of playing at left full ahead of the World Cup play-off against Ireland.

Talented left-back Riza Durmisi, who plays for Betis in Spain, was a key man for Denmark in the group stages, playing in eight of their ten qualifiers.

But he has picked up an injury and is out for three weeks, making him a major doubt for the first leg in Copenhagen at least.

FC Copenhagen player Nicolai Boilesen could get the nod while the inexperienced Udinese man Jens Stryger Larsen is the other option, but either way it's a problem for the 64-year-old national team boss Age Hareide.

"We have to wait and see, but if Durmisi is out for three weeks, it does not look good," he said.

"I really did not plan to go out and watch players before the play-off matches, but we have special circumstances that require us to do that. We've got Durmisi injured so we have to look for a left back.

"I hope that Nicolai Boilesen will get games and I will look at him next weekend."


While Martin O'Neill's scouting missions focus on events in the Premier League (Burnley, mainly) and the Championship, Denmark boss Hareide can build up the air miles in scouting his players for form.

Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Yussuf Poulsen (Red Bull Leipzig), Christian Eriksen (Spurs) and Simon Kjær (Sevilla) all played in the Champions League on Tuesday night, and more Danes are likely to be in action in the Europa League tonight (Andreas Cornelius and Nicklas Bendtner).

The Danish FA will begin ticket sales to their fans for the home leg on Monday, with the 38,000 capacity Parken Stadium expected to sell out rapidly.

The first batch of tickets for Irish supporters for the Dublin game, a pre-sale event, were sold out within minutes yesterday, with a scramble expected when the tickets are put on sale at 11am tomorrow.

Denmark are only required to give Ireland 5% of the capacity for the game in Copenhagen, an allocation of just 1,900, half of that awarded to the FAI by the Welsh FA for the Cardiff game.

But the FAI are hoping to secure more tickets for the game in Copenhagen by offering the Danes a larger allocation for their fans in Dublin.

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