Denmark vs Wales - Ryan Giggs unsure of the Denmark side that will face Wales

Posted Wednesday, September 05, 2018 by PA

Denmark vs Wales - Ryan Giggs unsure of the Denmark side that will face Wales

Ryan Giggs is preparing for Wales to enter the unknown against a Denmark side consisting of lower-league and futsal players.

Denmark’s preparations for their UEFA Nations League opener against Wales in Aarhus on Sunday are in chaos following a dispute between the Danish Football Association and their Players’ Association.

The Danes are set to field an uncapped scratch side consisting of third-tier and futsal players, the latter being an indoor five-a-side game played with a harder and smaller ball.

“What sort of team we’re going to face I don’t know,” Wales manager Giggs said ahead of his pre-match press conference for their inaugural Nations League tie against the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff on Thursday.

“There’s a bit of me that thinks they’ll sort it out, but every day that looks more and more unlikely.

“But I’ve got a big game against Ireland first and all my concentration is on that.”

Denmark are ranked ninth in the world and reached the last 16 of the World Cup in Russia this summer.

But players like Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen and Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel are set to sit out the Wales game because of a row over the players’ commercial rights.

The Denmark turmoil has overshadowed Giggs’ first home game as Wales manager and a reunion between two teams who met in a do-or-die World Cup qualifier last October.

The Republic ended Wales’ qualification hopes by winning that Cardiff clash 1-0 before losing to Denmark in a play-off the following month.

“It’s a proud moment for me and I’m very excited,” said Giggs, who has overseen friendlies in China and the United States since his appointment in January.

“But we know it’s going to be a tough game. The Republic have not been beaten in their last six competitive away games and we know what we’re up against.”

Giggs has reported a full-strength Wales squad.

Meanwhile, Conor Hourihane has revealed Roy Keane has lost none of his bite since moving into coaching – and he would not have it any other way.

The Republic of Ireland assistant manager has found himself in the headlines in recent days with Martin O’Neill admitting Harry Arter’s withdrawal from the squad may have been prompted by a training ground disagreement with the former Manchester United skipper in June.

Asked if Keane remains as fierce off the pitch as he was on it, the Aston Villa midfielder replied: “Definitely, and that will never leave him, without a doubt.

“He’s always in your ear, giving words of advice. If you let standards go any little bit, he’s on the case, so that’s fantastic to have as well. He keeps you on your toes.”

Keane has been a key figure in Hourihane’s career to date, the former Sunderland boss taking him to Wearside as a youngster and then to Ipswich when he resumed his managerial career at Portman Road.

Now the pair are working closely together once again within the Ireland set-up and Hourihane could hardly be happier as he looks for further senior international experience on Thursday night.

He said: “Roy’s been fantastic with me ever since I’ve been young. He signed me a couple of times, at Sunderland and Ipswich and he’s always been giving me words of advice along the way.

“He’s been first-class to me, so I’ve only got high words to speak about Roy, without a doubt.

“Roy was one of the best midfielders we’ve produced in this country. He’s won countless trophies and caps, so if you can learn anything from him, especially as a midfielder like myself, it will only improve your game.”

O’Neill’s squad once again has a new look about it with John O’Shea having retired from international football and Robbie Brady, James McCarthy and Shane Long injured.

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