Euro 2016 qualifier: Scotland vs Republic of Ireland match preview

A look ahead to tonight’s Euro 2016 qualifier at Celtic Park

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Robbie Keane returns to Celtic Park after becoming the record goalscorer in European Championship qualifying history after netting a hat-trick against Gibraltar last time out for the national side.

The well-known journeyman, who has played for Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Aston Villa among others, scored 16 goals in his 19 appearances for the Bhoys.

Keane, who has 21 goals in Euro qualifying, also scored the only goal in the previous meeting between the two sides, a 1-0 win for Ireland in 2011.

Martin O'Neill's team will be looking to continue their unbeaten start when they travel to Celtic Park. Victory for Ireland over Scotland could see the Irish top the group on 10 points, though this does depend on Poland’s result against Georgia.

Similarly, Scotland could join their opponents at the top of the group with a victory, though it would take a five goal margin of victory for Scotland to jump ahead of Ireland.

Scotland have won three of the nine games against Ireland, with Ireland winning a further three.

KICK-OFF: Friday, 7.45pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Ireland 1 (Keane) Scotland 0, international friendly, May 2011

Scotland 0 Ireland 2 (Kilbane, Morrison), international friendly, February 2003

Ireland 1 (Kennedy) Scotland 2 (Hutchinson, Ferguson), international friendly, May 2000

STATS…

Scotland have not won at home against Ireland since 1961, a World Cup qualifying match.

In competitive matches, the Republic of Ireland have won just one out of four matches against Scotland.

Ireland and Hungary have played more European Championship qualifying games than any other nation

Scotland are on a run of four missed European Championships, having failed to qualify between 2000 and 2012

ODDS…

Scotland to win: 2.4

Republic of Ireland to win: 3.4

Draw: 3.1

TV: Live on Sky Sports 5 at 7.45pm

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