Belfast Telegraph

Tottenham star has the ability to end Republic of Ireland's World Cup dream, warns O'Neill


By Daniel McDonnell

Martin O'Neill has highlighted the influence of Christian Eriksen as the main threat to Ireland's Russian ambitions after the World Cup play-off draw set up a two-legged showdown with Denmark.

The Irish delegation in Zurich were happy with that outcome as the Danes were the lowest ranked seeded side and O'Neill was fearful of landing Italy.

The Republic's manager was also keen to play the second leg in Dublin and that wish came to pass with the first leg in Copenhagen on Saturday, November 11 before the decider takes place at the Aviva Stadium three days later on Tuesday, November 14.

However, O'Neill has respect for a Danish side that made it to this stage with a stirring run in the autumn that was inspired by Eriksen.

He scored in each of Denmark's final five games in their group and four wins and a draw put Age Hareide's charges into second spot behind Poland.

"If you consider the Danish run just recently, he (Eriksen) has masterminded nearly all of the proceedings. He seemed to pop up with the most important goals," said O'Neill.

"He's playing brilliantly at the moment and scores a lot of goals which is going to be very important for Denmark. I think we have to be careful.

"They have a number of decent players and we have to stay in the match until we get to Dublin."

Belfast Telegraph

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