How can Ireland get the better of Denmark tonight and realise Russia 2018 dreams? Ed Leahy assesses where Martin O'Neill's side could cause damage to the visitors

Give it to Wes

When it comes to playing attractive, attacking football, Ireland’s only real option is to start with Wes Hoolahan.

The Norwich City midfielder takes control of the ball when in possession and links up the play to perfection, bringing players into the game and raising the confidence levels of those around him.

Ireland players know that Wes is always looking for the ball and expects it to his feet even if being shadowed by one or more of the opposition.

Despite his seniority, the former Shelbourne man is still willing to put in a shift when not in possession and is well able to handle himself in the middle of the park.

A killer pass or two will be needed tonight. It will most likely come from the boot of Wessi.

Put ‘Em Under Pressure

Energy was the buzz word in France when Ireland fought for their Euro 2016 lives and had to go out and beat Italy in Lille.

Another energy-filled exercise is required tonight should Martin O’Neill’s side have a chance of securing the victory needed to reach Russia.

Playing on the front foot may have been the intention in Copenhagen, however, that was never a realistic option once the back four decided to set up shop on the edge of their own penalty area.

It all starts tonight with a high line in defence.

Denmark do not have any speed merchants that would cause too many problems with a ball over the top, so an advanced Ireland will allow the team to put pressure on the ball in the Danish half.

The old school Jack Charlton tactics are needed to gain possession inside the opponents’ half.

Once they get the ball, the players should be there in numbers to create chances and attack the Danish goal.

Beat the first man

It is remarkable to think that Ireland have not scored from a set-piece for the entire campaign considering Robbie Brady has the potential to be one of the finest exponents of the dead-ball delivery.

But even again in Copenhagen, many set-piece scenarios were wasted with the delivery failing to clear the first man in defence, or then being over-hit.

Throw in several daft fouls in and around the penalty box and it sums up most of Ireland’s campaign when it comes to attacking frees and corner-kicks.

Ireland have the players to attack and flourish from the right ball into the box and just need to maintain their concentration and composure and maybe that particular perfect storm might play out tonight.

Attack, Attack, Attack

The Ireland players need to take chances this evening. But it needs to be a collective effort going into this must-win game.

Both full-backs are fond of bombing forward and should Stephen Ward and Cyrus Christie win their particular battles, pushing their opposite number onto the back foot, it will allow the midfield to play as a more compact unit and keep Denmark pegged back.

Gaps will be left at the back but David Meyler has shown in recent games that he is more than capable of playing in a sort of sweeper role in front of the centre halves and can spot danger breaking through the middle or from either flank.

As mentioned elsewhere, it is a night for a hero to emerge, so all those young’s guns in the squad have a chance to really make a name for themselves.

Christie has played great in the green since Seamus Coleman’s absence, while Callum O’Dowda will take a huge confidence lift from his starting role last Saturday.

Conor Hourihane might be employed at some stage in midfield and the Cork man possesses an excellent eye for goal, while new recruit Scott Hogan could be the last role of the dice in the dying minutes.

Otherwise, Ireland might need to rely on someone who has the experience of putting the ball in the back of the net on the big occasion.

Brady, McClean, Long. Any of, or all three would do just nicely.

Stand Up for the Boys in Green

The Ireland fans attending the game tonight have a major role to play and may just be the deciding factor when it comes to pushing the team over the finish line.

The team have performed poorly over the home campaign and while the stadium atmosphere has been excellent at times throughout most games, the 'Lansdowne Roar' of yore has yet to be witnessed.

Not since Shane Long’s strike against Germany has this stadium’s acoustics been tested to the limit, so tonight is a real opportunity to turn the 50,000-plus-seater arena into the fortress it once was before the redesign.

The Danish side should know that they are in a hostile environment, so channel the spirit of Brian Boru, while also making the official question his own 50-50 decisions. Even a half-hearted penalty appeal should be enough to open that bottle of vitriol under your seat.

So get there early, get involved and give it socks for the full 90, or even 120 minutes. Your summer holidays are riding on this one.

Watch Republic of Ireland v Denmark live on RTÉ 2 and the RTÉ Player from 7pm, commentary and analysis on RTÉ Radio 1 and live blog on RTÉ Sport Online from 7pm