Kasper Schmeichel: Denmark will come up team of Roy Keanes
CRAIG HOPE IN COPENHAGEN: Kasper Schmeichel says he expects to take on 11 Roy Keanes when Denmark face Republic of Ireland in the first leg of their World Cup play-off on Saturday.
Kasper Schmeichel says he expects to take on 11 Roy Keanes when Denmark face Republic of Ireland in their World Cup play-off.
The Danish goalkeeper was brought up around the Manchester United team of the nineties, which included his dad, Peter, and was captained by Ireland’s assistant manager.
Keane and Schmeichel senior’s relationship was notoriously fraught, and the former spoke this week about the time he head-butted his team-mate during a tour of Asia in 1998.
Kasper Schmeichel predicts a battle when Denmark face Ireland in the first leg of their play-off
Schmeichel junior, however, has nothing but respect for Keane and believes his winning mentality will be imprinted on the Irish team.
‘My childhood memories of Roy are mostly of him holding trophies,’ said the Leicester City stopper, speaking at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadion ahead of Saturday’s first leg.
‘He was an inspirational leader and captain of Manchester United. He is a typical Irishman with a unique character.
‘I have always enjoyed playing with Irish players and their attitude to life. They like to have fun but are serious about work.
Schmeichel said he expects Ireland to channel their inner Roy Keane in the Denmark clash
‘I am sure we will see Roy Keane’s on-pitch persona in the team on Saturday.’
Meanwhile, Christian Eriksen was part of the Spurs side which dismantled European champions Real Madrid earlier this month, scoring one in a 3-1 victory at Wembley.
But the Denmark playmaker says it will be harder to break down the Irish.
‘They will play the way that they have in previous games, with a lot of people behind the ball, so we will have to play quick and open up the game,’ said Eriksen.
Keane played with Kasper's father Peter for six trophy-laden seasons at Manchester United
‘Of course, if you have a team that wants to play and a team that doesn’t want to play then the game will be dragged out.
'For them, 0-0 is probably a good result, whereas we want to score goals and create chances. We will probably get fewer than we have in other games.’
There is talk of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill deploying Glenn Whelan in a man-to-man duty on Eriksen, but the Dane said: ‘I’ve been man-marked before, quite a few times in my career so far.
‘I don’t really mind if Ireland do it. If they do then there will be more space for the other players to show the quality they they and we can take advantage of that, but it’s Ireland’s decision and to me it doesn’t really matter.’