Callum O’Dowda starts in Copenhagen showdown

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Callum O'Dowda

Callum O’Dowda is set for the biggest moment of his fledgling international career after being named in the Republic of Ireland’s starting 11 for the World Cup play-off first leg in Copenhagen. 

The Bristol City man, who will win just his eighth senior cap, impressed in the Aviva Stadium clash with Moldova last month but he didn’t feature in the crucial win against Wales three days later.

Martin O’Neill has frequently praised the midfielder but it’s still a surprise to see him get the nod at the expense of the more experienced Glenn Whelan.

O’Dowda lines up in midfield alongside Jeff Hendrick and Harry Arter, with Robbie Brady and James McClean expected to patrol the flanks.

Shane Duffy leads the line, while Ciaran Clark – named captain – and Shane Duffy are again the twin towers at the back. Stephen Ward and Cyrus Christie occupy the full-back berths.

Denmark coach Age Hareide has made five changes to the side which drew 1-1 with Romania as Peter Ankersen, Andreas Bjelland, Jens Stryger Larsen, Andreas Cornelius and Nicolai Jorgensen return.

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