herald

Wednesday 11 December 2019

Eriksen form not a worry for Danes as they gear up for Dublin showdown

Euro 2020 qualifier: Denmark v Gibraltar (Virgin Media Sport Extra 1, 7.45)

Age Hareide
Age Hareide

Denmark boss Age Hareide says he's not concerned about the lack of game time for three of his key players, including Spurs man Chrisian Eriksen, as they prepare to face Ireland in Dublin on Monday.

The Danes have one game to play before their trip to Ireland, a home qualifier against minnows Gibraltar tonight.

Anything other than a convincing home win is unthinkable, the Danish women's national side setting the standard with a 14-0 win over Georgia earlier this week.

Hareide says he will rotate his squad for the Gibraltar game, with fringe players given a run-out and key men rested.

While McCarthy has the luxury of selecting players who, by and large, are getting game time at club level, there's an issue for the Danes as defender Simon Kjær (Atalanta) and midfielders Eriksen and Thomas Delaney (Borussia Dotrmund) have spent a lot of time on the bench lately, with Delaney an unused sub for the last four Bundesliga games.

But coach Hareide's not worried.

"Christian Eriksen, Thomas Delaney and Simon Kjær all play. In addition to Kasper Schmeichel, they are always in my team lineup, whether they played at weekend or not," Hareide said.

"You don't become a worse football player by not playing the weekend before you meet up with the national team."

He says his squad are all eager to play in both games of the double header but his head will rule his heart, the Norwegian native wary of injury or suspension issues from tonight feeding into Monday in Dublin.

"We want to rest some players who have played a lot and could be vulnerable if they played two games. Everyone wants to play, but we will not to use the same 11 players in both matches.

"Some of our players go all in when they play for the national team.

"So we are going to rotate in the two matches because it is about having fresh legs on Monday against Ireland, which is the most important match," he added.

Also tonight, Switzerland host Georgia in St Gallen, the game a 19,694 sell-out as the Swiss, guaranteed a play-off, can secure automatic qualification, but only in the unlikely event that Denmark draw at home to Gibraltar.

"The victory against Ireland opened the door for us. Now we can make it final, for ourselves," said Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic, whose side have one more game after tonight, Monday's trip to Gibraltar.

"We don't think about winning three, four or six points, we just want to win this game and if that's enough to win the group, then all the better for us," Petkovic added.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News