Gibraltar play host to Denmark in tonight’s Euro 2020 Qualifying match, looking to build upon their three matches so far in this campaign.
Photo © William Gracia
After over five months since the last home game, competitive senior international football returns to the Victoria Stadium tonight, which will be sold out – including an estimated 750 travelling Danish fans who will be hoping their side pick up their second win of the qualifiers, after drawing two of their first three matches so far.
Both teams spoke to the press yesterday ahead of the match – the visitors showing a noticeable confidence in their chances for the match, while Gibraltar Head Coach Julio Ribas noted that his team are “in the middle of a special project”.
Denmark have seen the late withdrawal of keeper Frederik Rønnow due to injury, with Daniel Iversen, on loan at Rotherham from Leicester, called in his place. However, it is a Leicester teammate of Iversen’s who is expected to start between the sticks – Kasper Schmeichel will be making his 48th appearance at national level and comes in off the back of a strong start of the season at club level, with the Foxes third in the Premier League after four games.
There is undoubted talent everywhere else in the pitch for the Danes as well, with the likes of Andreas Christensen, Christian Eriksen and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg familiar names to those who follow the English Premier League. Up front, Yussuf Poulsen has been part of a RB Leipzig attack who have helped their team to the top of the Bundesliga with a 100% record – all in all, Gib will expect to be incredibly busy tonight as always.
For the hosts, there are no known injury concerns, with Ribas as tight-lipped as ever in trying to not give anything away. We don’t expect too many changes to the team who have played the most recent qualifiers, although injury to Lee Casciaro, and the retirement of Anthony Bardon, means we will see a couple of ‘new’ faces in the outfield. There is also the question of who starts in goal – Dayle Coleing and Matt Cafer will both be vying for Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin’s number 1 spot, and Coleing in particular has a good argument in his favour after impressive performances domestically and in Europa League qualifiers over the last few months.
Up front, Tjay De Barr will most likely lead the line alone, a thankless task in all honesty – while behind him Liam Walker, his former Europa teammate, will be hoping to continue the fine form the attacking midfielder has shown so far this season, in what is set to be Walker’s 40th cap at international level since UEFA membership. Alongside Coleing, there could be two other debutants potentially tonight, in Jared Buhagiar and Brad Power.
It will be no surprise to anyone that Denmark are odds-on favourites tonight – the best price you can get on the visitors is 1/40, while Gib are as high as 150/1 to get all three points – the draw is 28/1 with either of those two results being a first for Gib in European Qualifiers should it happen.
The aforementioned Poulsen is 4/5 to score in 90 minutes tonight and could represent good value, with the 6 foot 4 inch striker bound to be a threat in the air – Louie Annesley, who is the same height as Poulsen, will have to keep a tight mark on him especially at set pieces.
For the hosts, there is definitely value in backing some of the usual suspects to grab a goal, including Tjay De Barr (19/1), Liam Walker (20/1) and Joseph Chipolina (40/1). If you think both teams will score, but don’t know who will get the goals, then BTTS Yes at 7/2 could be the way to go.