Paul Higham has Monday's pick of the Euro 2020 qualifying action, including what should be a tense make-or-break tie in Dublin.
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Republic of Ireland v Denmark
It’s not the first time the Irish have faced Denmark in a must-win qualifying clash – the two fought out a two-legged World Cup play-off in 2017, with the Danes extinguishing home hopes in Dublin with a 5-1 thumping after a 0-0 first leg draw.
These are familiar foes with five previous meetings in the last two years, and it’s Denmark who hold the slight upper hand with the only win in that series – with the other four being draws.
And a draw will do just fine for Denmark, and while that’s usually a difficult mindset to go into a game with, it may be easier against Ireland’s anaemic attack than against other sides. Mick McCarthy’s men have squeezed the most out of their meagre six goals – with 12 points far more than you’d usually get from such a return.
Denmark, by contrast, have stuck in 22 during this campaign and you’d fear for the Irish if they concede early and try and go for broke. A cautious approach therefore looks like the best plan of attack for both sides – leading to a tense affair with few goals, especially in the opening 45 minutes.
Spain v Romania
Unbeaten Spain have been impressive in what looked a tricky group and even though they're through don't expect them to take their foot off the gas as they'll be keen to make a statement and finish the campaign without tasting defeat.
Romania suffered a gut-wrenching defeat against Sweden on Friday that ended their automatic qualifying hopes, so there's little on the line as they await the play-off calculations to be done, so there's a danger that they'll show up a little bit flat.
That's not what you want against a team that's put 16 goals away at home and conceded just one this campaign, and one that has danger coming from everywhere as those 16 goals have been scored by 11 different players.
15 of Spain's last 19 goals scored at home have come in the second half, and that could tie in nicely with a fading Romania side who have little to play for, while for the hosts the competition for places is already as tough as it gets so they'll be chasing goals for the full 90 minutes.
Italy v Armenia
The Italians are back! They've bagged a record ten wins in a row while storming through this group showing the same defensive solidity when conceding just three goals, but also adding a touch of flair up front with 28 scored including ten in their last three wins.
Armenia have entertained while grabbing a few decent results and there are usually a few goals when they play - they got one of the three to squeeze into the Italian net and although it'll be tough to repeat that in Palermo, being the last game could just loosen that Azzurri rearguard.
Italy average three goals a game but, with the pressure off both them and Armenia we look like having a free-flowing game with plenty of chances for both sides to grab goals. Armenia will be lucky to get one but Italy should get a few.
Best bet: Italy to win & over 3.5 goals at 13/10
Monday's Euro 2020 qualifying fixtures
- Gibraltar v Switzerland
- Greece v Finland
- Italy v Armenia
- Liechtenstein v Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Malta v Norway
- Republic of Ireland v Denmark
- Spain v Romania
- Sweden v Faroe Islands
Odds correct as of 1500 GMT on 17/11/19
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