While Ireland have several injury issues to deal with ahead of next week’s World Cup play-off, opponents Denmark have some big concerns of their own.
The Boys in Green will be without James McCarthy and Sean Maguire for the two-legged tie that will make or break the side’s World Cup hopes, while Derby County expect that defender Richard Keogh will also miss out with a quad strain.
However, while Martin O’Neill deals with the loss of those players, Danish manager Age Hareide is facing his own problems ahead of the squad’s first meeting on Tuesday.
Defender Simon Kjaer, who played in all ten of Denmark’s group stage matches, is a doubt having limped off while playing for his club Sevilla against Barcelona in La Liga last weekend. The 28-year-old suffered an ankle injury in that clash and while he will be further assessed early this week, he has emerged as a major doubt for this weekend.
Striker Nicolai Jorgensen, meanwhile, could also miss the play-offs. The Feyenoord forward, who has eight goals from 25 caps, fractured his wrist while in Eredivisie action against Den Haag at the weekend (a match he also scored in, incidentally), and while he was able to play on with a cast in that game, he may not be risked on international duty as it may aggravate the injury further.
It also seems certain that Hareide will be unable to call up on defenders Henrik Dalsgaard or Andreas Bjelland either. The Brentford duo are two more names for the casualty list, and while the former will definitely miss out, the latter seems very likely to join him.
That could, however, pave the way for Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen to get the nod at the back. The 21-year-old has broken into the first-team picture under Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge, and having started in the Blues’ 1-0 win against Manchester United on Sunday, Hareide may feel that the relatively inexperienced centre-half is worth the risk in such a huge tie.