Our prediction for this Nations League match:
There will be fireworks when Scotland and Republic of Ireland face each other at Hampden Park. The Scotts are a real force to be reckoned with at home, but keep in mind that they will be without Andy Robertson, John Souttar, Liam Cooper, and Ross Stewart in Saturday’s showdown. The good news for the hosts is that important defender Kieran Tiernay returns to the squad.
The Boys in Green, on the other hand, aim to avoid relegation to League C. Earlier in the process Ireland rolled over Scotland 3-0 in Dublin, but a close encounter is on the cards this time out. You should know that under 2.5 goals have been netted in five of their last six meetings in all competitions. All Robbie Brady, Andrew Omobamidele, and Callum O’Dowda are back to the Ireland squad.
Highlighted Player (Jon McLaughlin):
Jon McLaughlin is a goalkeeper who plays for Sunderland. The 188-cm-tall shoot-stopper played for non-League sides Harrogate Railway Athletic and Harrogate Town in the past, but in 2008 he joined Bradford City. After spending six years at Valley Parade, McLaughlin signed a contract with Burton Albion and he has been playing for the Pirelli Stadium outfit ever since.
Jon McLaughlin made 45 appearances for Burton Albion in both 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons and he has established his self as the team’s first-choice goalkeeper. He was producing scintillating displays for Burton in the 2015/2016 League One campaign and, no doubt, he helped the team secure promotion to the Championship.
Jon McLaughlin was born on 9 September, 1987 in Edinburgh, but he has yet to make his debut for the Scotland national team. Speaking of his honours, the goalkeeper won the Football League Two play-offs with Bradford City in the 2012/2013 season.
Highlighted Team (Ireland):
Competing as an independent entity since 1953, Republic of Ireland have struggled to match the world’s best national teams ever since, although they did achieve several respectable results on the road. Their best ever result, the 1990 World Cup quarter-final, was achieved with a big smile from Lady Luck seeing that the Irish reached the last eight without winning a single match.
They have since reached the last 16 stage at the 1994 and 2002 tournaments, while only qualifying for three European Championship finals (1988, 2012, 2016). The Irish were in the top 10 of the FIFA Rankings in 1993 and 1994, but have failed to repeat the success in the next twenty odd years, and it appears they are no closer to bridging the gap behind European powerhouses.
Robbie Keane holds the record for most national team caps and goals at the same time, having bagged 67 in 143 appearances, whereas Niall Quinn, Steve Staunton, Damien Duff, Tony Cascarino and Don Givens are some of the other star players.