Meyler ready to drive Ireland through World Cup qualifier and on to Russia

Meyler ready to drive Ireland through World Cup qualifier and on to Russia
David Meyler during a Republic of Ireland press conference yesterday. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

CORK'S David Meyler looks set to return to the Irish team for the make-or-break play-off second leg tie with Denmark.

Meyler, along with Shane Long, look set to start against the Danes with Harry Artur and Daryl Murphy likely to drop to the bench.

There will be lots of calls for Wes Hoolohan to start in a game that Ireland have to win, but O'Neill may keep him on the bench at the start.

Fullback Cyrus Christie has challenged the Republic of Ireland to win the World Cup war against Denmark after edging the battle in Copenhagen.

Martin O'Neill's men left the Parken Stadium on Saturday evening with a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their play-off having survived something of a mauling in the first half.

Opinion is divided on which side holds the advantage as they prepare to meet again at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday night with the Irish hoping the comforts of home will work in their favour, while the Danes are expecting a more progressive approach from their hosts which may leave them space to exploit.

However, Middlesbrough full-back Christie is convinced it was Ireland who emerged with the upper hand and is now backing them to make the most of it.

He said: "It was very tough, but it was tough for Denmark as well. I'm sure they knew they were in for a game and we won the battle.

"We had chances and I don't think they had too many chances. We kept them quiet and, at the end of the day, we could have won it.

"Now we go back to our home ground and we will be full of confidence. We re-assess, we get ready for Tuesday and we can hopefully make it a special night.

"It's a massive night and hopefully we can rise to the occasion."

That Ireland left Copenhagen with their hopes intact was due in large part to the heroics of goalkeeper Darren Randolph, who produced first-half saves from Jens Stryger Larsen, Andreas Cornelius and Christian Eriksen, and another from substitute Yussuf Poulsen at the death to deny the Danes.

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