Saturday, 11 November 2017

Arter and Republic of Ireland's big opportunity

Today the Republic of Ireland play Denmark in the first leg of their two-leg play-off final and Harry Arter is hoping to be involved. Harry hasn't had a marvellous start to the season, but he has managed to get into the starting line up for the Republic of Ireland, and he may well get the nod again this weekend to try and get them to the World Cup in Russia.
Playing in a Wold Cup would be another goal achieved for Harry Arter.
The Republic of Ireland finished second in group D to Serbia in the World Cup qualifiers and that put them against Denmark in the final draw for qualification. Harry played in central midfield with Jeff Hendrick, and while he lasted 77 of the 90 minutes he had a big part in the goal that Hendrick scored against Wales to give the Republic the win they needed. The Republic set up to be very defensive which is characteristic of Martin O'Neill sides, and in this first leg against Denmark they are away, and that implies to me that Arter is probably going to play as he is a good market and does a lot of running for teams.

Whether a defensive approach will be enough against the Danes is going to be tested. But if the Republic do not concede in the first game they will fancy getting a win on Tuesday when they are at home. Denmark finished five points behind Poland in group E and had a goal difference of 12, so they do have players that will have a go on goal if the opportunity arises. Andrews Cornelius is their main striker, but Arter will probably be most wary of Tottenham's Christian Eriksen playing just behind.

If Arter makes it to the World Cup it will be really sweet for him having missed out last summer on the European Championships. Not many AFCB players are likely to make it to the finals with AkΓ© seeing the Netherlands go out already and Begovic not qualifying with Bosnia-Herzegovina. While we may watch England with lots of Premier League players, it will be something else to see Arter playing for the Republic in matches in Russia - let's hope he gets there.

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