Scotland host the Republic of Ireland on Saturday evening, September 24, looking to move a step closer to top spot in Group B1. Meanwhile, the visitors travel to Hampden Park knowing that just one win is all they need to keep their promotion hopes alive in the UEFA Nations League top flight. Scotland v Republic of Ireland kick-off is scheduled for 20:45
Scotland-Republic of Ireland match preview: Where the two teams stand
After their World Cup dream vanished against Ukraine in the summer, Scotland have a scrapping account when they renew their acquaintance with the same opponents on Wednesday night. However, few could have predicted such a dominant performance from Steve Clarke’s side who deservedly won 3-0 as they put on a show at Hampden Park. John McGinn was immense in midfield controlling the game with his endless energy and the opening goal before Lyndon Dykes ended his year-long international absence with two Ryan Fraser corner headers. With the return match against Ukraine next week, a two-point lead at the top of the pack does not look assured, but a win on Saturday night would put the Tartan Army on the brink of a first ever promotion to League A, joining the European elite. Football. Scotland have not hosted the Republic of Ireland since November 2014: on that occasion, a Shaun Maloney goal proved the difference and the home side won a Euro 2016 qualifier.
Republic of Ireland
For the Republic of Ireland, the goal is to avoid relegation to League C as they currently sit just one point above bottom-placed Armenia. With group leaders Scotland five points behind and Ukraine three points behind, only an unlikely scenario will see them win the group, but Stephen Kenny will be hoping his players give their all at the weekend. After 1-0 defeats to Armenia and Ukraine, the Republic of Ireland responded with four points from their first two matches, thanks to a clear 3-0 win over their nearest rivals in Dublin. Alan Brown, Troy Parrott and Michael Obafemi all scored on that occasion, but the Irish have not been the same away side – their biggest away wins since 2018 came in Azerbaijan and Luxembourg.
Latest news from the teams
Aaron Hickey will be Everton’s right-back replacement, while Dykes could do well following Che Adams’ concussion as a substitute on Wednesday night. Ahead of another game against Ukraine, Clarke will consider introducing new legs to midfield: Kenny McLean, Billy Gilmour and Ryan Jack are all options at her disposal. Caoimhin Kelleher and Darragh Lenihan are missing from the Republic of Ireland squad, with Gavin Basunu and John Egan on the bench instead. Despite his lack of football for Tottenham Hotspur, Matt Doherty could be reinstated at right-back, but the rest of the squad could remain unchanged for the 1-1 draw against Ukraine.
Possible Formations Scotland-Republic of Ireland
Possible initial formation of Scotland:
Gordon; Hickey, McKenna, Hendry, Tierney; McGregor, McTominay; Armstrong, McGinn, Christy; Dykes
Possible initial formation of the Republic of Ireland:
Basunu; O’Shea, Collins, Egan; Doherty, Cullen, Molambi, Knight, McLean; Hogan, Parrott
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