Euro 2016 Qualifiers: Ireland vs Scotland preview

June 12, 2015
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Scotland's Shaun Maloney celebrates his goalHaving slipped to fourth in the Group D standings, Republic of Ireland face a must-win game against their rivals for a place at the Euro 2016.

Scotland are two points clear of their opponents at the moment, but they trail Poland and Germany, meaning that a defeat at Aviva Stadium in Dublin would prove costly.

Republic of Ireland ended a 24-year wait for an appearance at the European Championships as they qualified for the 2012 tournament, but three defeats in the group stage quickly ended their campaign.

And having failed to make it to the 2014 World Cup, the Irish are determined to reach the Euro 2016, and the team had a pretty good start to the qualifying campaign.

However, away defeat to Scotland and home draw with Poland saw Ireland slip to fourth in the standings, meaning they now desperately need a win against Gordon Strachan’s side.

The Irish will not have an easy job against their neighbours, but bear in mind that home win pays 2.40 (7/5) with bet365.

The hosts will be without Harry Arter, while Paul McShane is an injury doubt. Robbie Keane is ready to play despite suffering a family tragedy.

Probable starting line-up (4-5-1): Given – Coleman, O’Shea, Wilson, Brady – Walters, Hoolahan, McCarthy, Whelan, McGeady – Long.

Scotland have enjoyed steady progress since Gordon Strachan took over the reigns, and they now hope to finally reach a major tournament.

The Scots did really well in away games against Germany and Poland, even if they could only take one point from those matches, and the team quickly returned to winning ways.

Scotland enjoyed a very important 1-0 win over Ireland in November to leapfrog the neighbours in the standings, before hammering minnows Gibraltar to climb within one point of leaders Poland.

Gordon Strachan’s side now need to get at least one point from the return match against the Irish and they are 1.64 (16/25) to succeed in their quest.

Celtic star Charlie Mulgrew has proved his fitness after the lengthy spell on the sidelines and looks set to keep his place in the side after playing full 90 minutes against Qatar.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Marshall – Whittaker, Martin, Greer, Robertson – Brown, Mulgrew – Maloney, Naismith, Anya – S. Fletcher.

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