Long back from injury as Republic of Ireland prepare to face Denmark
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Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long has recovered from an ankle knock and is available to face Denmark in the Nations League game in Dublin.
The Southampton striker was a doubt for the Group B4 encounter as the Irish aim for their first points after an opening 4-1 defeat by Wales.
Demark hammered the Republic 5-1 in the World Cup play-offs last year.
However, the Danes are expected to be without their star forward Christian Eriksen because of a stomach injury.
The Tottenham playmaker struck a hat-trick in the Aviva Stadium game last November.
Demark top the group on goal difference thanks to a 2-0 victory over Wales last month, with Eriksen scoring both goals.
Ireland will hope to move off bottom spot on Saturday and go into Tuesday’s home game against Wales with confidence.
The Republic hold a narrow edge in the head-to-head meetings with Demark, securing five wins to Denmark’s four in 15 encounters.
Ireland boss Martin O’Neill goes into the game without injured quartet Seamus Coleman, Jonathan Walters, Robbie Brady, Stephen Ward.
James McClean is back from injury while there’s also a return for Harry Arter, who pulled out of last month’s matches against Wales and Poland after a training ground row with assistant manager Roy Keane.
O’Neill’s side has conceded nine goals in the last two competitive games while struggling to score has been a long-term issue.
Long has won 80 caps but bagged just 16 goals – his last coming in October 2016 and he has only netted seven times for Southampton in the meantime.
“In truth, we don’t have anyone who has proved themselves to be a prolific scorer, so it is a difficult one,” said O’Neill.
“Shane is not that – he hasn’t scored at club level now for quite some considerable time and of course that plays with your mind.
“But you have to be very, very strong and think the next chance that comes along, ‘This is the one that I’m going to take’.”
via BBC Sport – Football https://ift.tt/OHg7x6
October 12, 2018 at 02:24AM