HomeFootball NewsScotland vs Northern Ireland: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

Scotland vs Northern Ireland: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

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The State of Play

Scotland put in a decent showing in Amsterdam on Friday evening but they were eventually, and potentially unfairly, hammered by four goals to nil by the Netherlands at the Johann Cruyff Arena. That means that the Scots are now winless in their last six matches since defeating Cyprus 3-0 in Nicosia to all but ensure UEFA EURO 2024 qualification all the way back in early September.

Northern Ireland have endured a really difficult few years as they decline away from the team and setup that qualified for UEFA EURO 2016. However, at the start of what could be viewed as a clean slate with an emerging group of players coming through headed up by Conor Bradley, Michael O’Neill’s side earned a creditable 1-1 draw in Bucharest against Romania the other day.

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Team News

Steve Clarke made the big decision to recall 41-year-old Craig Gordon ahead of this round of internationals but Norwich City goalkeeper Angus Gunn remained in net for the Scots against the Dutch. They remain without key full-back Aaron Hickey due to injury.

Northern Ireland were missing key forward Dion Charles due to injury in Romania and his fitness remains a doubt, whilst Jonny Evans withdrew from the squad and there are now suggestions he is set to retire from football at the end of the season.

Expected Line-ups

Scotland: Gunn; Porteous, Hendry, Tierney; Patterson, Gilmour, McTominay, Robertson; McGinn, Christie; Shankland

Northern Ireland: Hazard; Bradley, Hume, McNair, Toal, Spencer; Price, S. Charles, Thompson; Lane, Reid

What they Said

Steve Clarke said his players had to ‘pick him up’ after their defeat to the Netherlands, with both John McGinn and Andrew Robertson critical of the Scots for ‘familiar’ issues against ‘bigger’ sides, given the amount of chances that they missed.

Michael O’Neill praised his Northern Irish side for an ‘excellent’ performance against Romania the other night and has insisted he has no regret at turning down a job offer from the Scottish FA before Clarke took the job.

When and How to Watch

This match take place at 19:45 at Hampden Park in Glasgow and will be televised live on Viaplay Sports 1 or BBC Scotland or BBC Northern Ireland or BBC Three in the UK. It will also be able to be streamed live via the Viaplay Sports app or the BBC iPlayer app in the UK.

Prediction

Scotland are kicking off UEFA EURO 2024 when they take on hosts Germany in the opening match of the tournament in just over two months. They will need to arrest their current winless slide and a home game against a Northern Ireland side that have been poor for a few years is a good opportunity. The Northern Irish have showed some signs of improvement but a low-scoring home win remains the likeliest outcome for this one.

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