Republic of Ireland v Scotland: Nations League – live!

27 min: Ireland try to play out again. Shane Duffy caught out again, and John McGinn again missing. Why do they keep doing this? Duffy can be a fine player, but he is not suited to that.

26 min: Dreadful corner from McTominay, it goes out to the other side bouncing once.

25 min: Scotland try to get back into it, passing the ball patiently to boos from those in green in the stands. Browne steps across to head a Ralston corner behind.

23 min: Good run from Collins causes problems for Scotland. Ireland have played well here. Scotland have been discomfited. Nathan Collins looks a great prospect. And probably won’t be playing for Burnley in the Championship next season.

21 min: It looked to have come off Browne’s hip, and in, the Preston man never actually in control of the ball. It won’t be an entry in 101 Great Goals but they all count, and Stephen Kenny’s team find a goal for the first time in this Nations League tranche.

Goal! Ireland 1-0 Scotland (Browne, 20)

McClean curls in from the flank, Obafemi stoops to nod in, only for Scott Mckenna’s header to direct it off. Then comes the corner. McClean takes, Duffy nods back across goal and Browne walks the ball into the net.

Alan Browne makes the breakthrough in Dublin. Photograph: Molly Darlington/Action Images/Reuters

17 min: Paul Van Salle gets in touch: “For Scotland, Grant Hanley and Scott McTominay come in for John Souttar and Stuart Armstrong, ahead of Billy Gilmour. A glance at social media suggests this is not a popular selection, though Gilmour’s fitness is perhaps a little lacking.

“John, It’s Billy’s 21st birthday!. Presumably the manager didn’t want to spoil his fun weekend by making him run around . . .”

Happy birthday, wee Billy, keys to the door.

16 min: Josh Cullen plays in Parrott, then Browne gallops on and has a shot blocked before Ireland pass it around. On the sideline, the Bossman can be heard urging his players to take on their opponent.

14 min: Ireland are determined to play from the back, and it’s setting a few hearts a-flutter among their fans.

12 min: A first real attack for Scotland, with Ryan Christie at its epicentre, and Ralston is sent down the flanks, pinging in a cross that’s cleared away, though the space had been left gaping. Ireland were opened up rather easily. Robertson charges in and Browne blocks him…then Ireland make a horrible mess and John McGinn might have done better. Kelleher and Duffy played the ball out from the back and should have been punished.

10 min: Michael Obafemi is running around an awful lot, pressing from the front. The ball goes to McClean who wafts a cross out from the line. That was a waste.

8 min: After that start, it’s slowed down a little. That may worry Stephen Kenny, as much the same happened against Ukraine.

6 min: Scotland try to get their breath back, as John Egan tries to get Troy Parrott away. There’s not much space out there. All very squeezed with Jason Knight adding numbers to the midfield for Ireland.

4 min: Gordon makes a fine low save as Browne fires in a shot. Ireland have begun with real zest. Shane Duffy has loped forward to get involved, with Scotland pinned back.

3 min: McTominay does come back on, if a tad gingerly though he gets involved in a midfield stramash. He’ll be OK. The pace is already high, the ball seems to be bouncing around a bit.

1 min: And away we go in Ireland. Jason Knight seems to have tucked into midfield, and then loses the ball and clatters into Scott McTominay, who seems in serious pain. That looks nasty, his ankle seemed to turn.

Jason Knight welcomes Scott McTominay to Dublin.
Jason Knight welcomes Scott McTominay to Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Flower of Scotland rings out, followed by Amhrán na bhFiann. Loud roars follow both.

The players emerge at a sold-out Aviva Stadium, the Tartan Army have travelled in numbers. The Premier Sports commentator talks of “kilts swimming in the Dublin streets”. An enduring image.

Steve Clarke speaks to Premier Sports.

It’s just about getting back on the bike and going again. Now we look forward to another tough game, should be a great atmosphere and both teams should feed off that. [On team selection] Normal rotation, and try to have a little bit of continuity. Ee have developed a strong squad. [Ireland] are going to work hard, and put you under pressure, tough game.

Stephen Kenny speaks to Premier Sports.

It’s such a quick turnaround, we’ve refreshed with the five changes. We are disappointed, we were on a good run, one defeat in 12, and we have managed to lose both games without conceding a chance in either game. We had had a lot of the play but we haven’t used the possession. It’s a big test, we know Scotland have had a good time, a lot of players playing at the top of the Premier League. If we were to beat Scotland it would be the biggest result here in this stadium in seven years. We are up against it, Scotland have a formidable line up and we have to be at out best.

In his RTE interview, he uses much the same line that the last team, other than Qatar, the Irish beat who were higher than them in the Fifa rankings was Bosnia seven years ago.

To top this second-tier group, Scotland will have to top Ukraine, who have beaten Armenia this afternoon when playing their home match in Poland.

🇺🇦 Ukraine continue their perfect run with an impressive 3-0 win over Armenia 💯#NationsLeague

— UEFA Nations League (@EURO2024) June 11, 2022

How did it go last time out for these two teams?

Not well for Ireland.

Better for Scotland.

What does that mean? James McClean gets his 93rd cap, and that surely means he is going for 100 caps. The Bossman has made sweeping changes, with a youthful attacking lineup of Troy Parrott, Michael Obafemi and Jason Knight. Jason Molumby, now of West Brom after his loan there from Brighton, steps into midfield. For Scotland, Grant Hanley and Scott McTominay come in for John Souttar and Stuart Armstrong, ahead of Billy Gilmour. A glance at social media suggests this is not a popular selection, though Gilmour’s fitness is perhaps a little lacking.

Anyway, Grant Hanley gives us opportunity to retool this classic from Birkenhead’s finest.

Everybody’s doing the Grant Hanley stance….

Here are the teams

Scotland: Gordon, Hendry, Hanley, McKenna, Ralston, McTominay, McGregor, Robertson, McGinn, Christie, Adams. Subs: McCrorie, Kelly, Patterson, Souttar, Stewart, Gilmour, Taylor, Armstrong, Turnbull, Brown, Campbell, Hickey.

Ireland: Kelleher, N Collins, Duffy, Egan, McClean, Browne, Cullen, Molumby, Parrott, Obafemi, Knight. Subs: O’Leary, Travers, Christie, Stevens, Robinson, Hourihane, Keane, Hendrick, O’Shea, Hogan, Hamilton, Lenihan.

Starting XI | Republic of Ireland v Scotland

Five changes to the team as Michael Obafemi gets his first start for Ireland 🇮🇪

Troy Parrott also comes into the team and Jayson Molumby comes into the midfield 👍#COYBIG#WeAreOne

— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) June 11, 2022


Bloody hell, the football’s still on. The Nations League continues with this battle of Celtic soul brothers, and there’s a little riding on it, namely the credibility of Stephen Kenny, Ireland’s manager, the Bossman Steo to those in the know, the Lossman Steo for those beginning to think that Ireland’s footballing cultural revolution has stalled. Losing to Ukraine’s second team on Wednesday was not much fun, and neither was the defeat in Armenia that preceded that. Scoring goals is a sincere problem, as is creativity in midfield. And there are those who wonder why the likes of Cyrus Christie and James McClean are still getting a runout.

At present, there’s far less pressure on Steve Clarke, the Caledonian manager, but Scotland are licking their wounds from their own defeat to Ukraine, in that playoff for a playoff that cost them a place in Qatar this November. A semblance of pride was saved by the midweek win over Armenia.

The last time these teams met was in 2015, a 1-1 draw in Dublin, and it was a dreadful game. Despite their geographical proximity they’ve met only eleven times, with four wins each. Two teams with similar ambitions, similar problems but Scotland having been rather more successful of late.

Oh yeah, and there’s Nations League points on the board in Group E, where Scotland head the table. Ireland are still yet to win a single Nations League match in its three iterations so far. Oh Steo.

Kickoff is at 5pm. Join me.

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