INTERNATIONAL football obsessive Mark O'Haire shares his betting thoughts on Monday night's Nations League contest between Denmark and Republic of Ireland in Aarhus.
Denmark v Republic of Ireland | Monday 19th November 2018, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Denmark’s 2-1 victory over Wales on Friday night secured top spot in Nations League Group B4, sealing at least a place in the Euro 2020 play-offs for the Red-White, whilst also confirming the Republic of Ireland’s relegation to the third-tier seeding system ahead of the Euro 2020 draw.
It means there’s little left to play for in Aarhus on Monday evening and the encounter could well have a friendly feel about it. Therefore, I won’t delve too deep into the intricacies of the occasion and instead, I’ll focus on my preferred play for the Nations League curtain-closer.
That is to back Denmark to win in a match featuring Under 3.5 Goals at even-money with Betway. Exclude the Scandinavians 3-0 friendly defeat to Slovakia when fielding a team of amateurs back in September, and Age Hareide’s men remain unbeaten since November 2016, an outstanding run of 23 matches.
That sample obviously includes a run to the Last 16 of the World Cup before exiting to eventual runners-up Croatia on penalties. Sure, the Danes were far from thrilling in Russia, but they did hold France to a stalemate, just one of 11 (W12-D11-L0) in that unbeaten streak, all of which ended 0-0 or 1-1.
Indeed, 12 of Denmark’s 13 matches this year have seen fewer than three strikes with the only exception that defeat to Slovakia, while six of these showdowns produced Under 1.5 Goals. The Red-White are wonderfully efficient and effective, and even if Christian Eriksen is rested, they boast enough ability to take top honours here.
Ireland have won once in their past 10 (W1-D4-L5) and have scored more than once in only three of their previous 20 internationals – two friendlies against USA and Uruguay, as well minnows Moldova. Martin O’Neill’s men have managed just 30 shots on-target in their last 13 outings, an average of just 2.31 per-game.
The Boys In Green have often appeared clueless and devoid of ideas in possession, preferring to play a containing game that’s almost solely reliant upon set-pieces and long, direct balls into the final-third. It’s no wonder the visitors have scored just four goals in 12 hours of action this calendar year.
Darren Randolph's saves ensured the Republic earned a 0-0 draw at home to neighbours Northern Ireland on Thursday night but I’d expect Denmark’s extra quality to prove decisive here. Meanwhile, 12 of Ireland’s most recent 15 matches have delivered Under 2.5 Goals and a another unwatchable affair awaits.
Denmark v Republic of Ireland – Denmark to win and Under 3.5 Goals (1/1 Betway)