Scotland v Ireland, Saturday - 7.45pm

Back in Nations League action on Saturday night away to Scotland.

They beat Ukraine 3-0 at home last night & will be gunning for revenge after our win against them at the end of last season. Unfortunately, last night’s victory was marred by the home supporters booing the minute silence for Queen Elizabeth.

Their only defeat so far came in Dublin and they lead the group on 9 points.

Standings (Played/Points)
Scotland 4/9
Ukraine 4/7
Ireland 4/4
Armenia 4/3

You’d almost forget what happened in previous international meet-ups when the next one comes around again. We lost at home to Ukraine and away to Armenia before rebounding with the Scotland win and the draw in Poland against Ukraine (Nathan Collins’ class goal).

Robbie Brady is back in the squad and most of our main players are available. Kelleher is injured and I’m not sure who else is missing.

We finish up the group at home to Armenia on Tuesday night.

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It was a minute’s applause mate

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From my occasional glances up at the match on TV from TFK last night, I can predict that this will be a tough match for Spock’s ( :vulcan_salute: cc @The_Selfish_Giant) charges.

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What is the overarching NARRATIVE around this game on which posters’ pre and post match opinions can be formed mate?

Sorry pal, my mistake. That makes their behaviour all the more appalling. When Celtic fans (who’d traditionally have some hostility towards the royal family) can enthusiastically get behind a minute’s applause, as they did last weekend, it only serves to highlight the awful behaviour of the jockos last night.

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The NARRATIVE appears to be that we are “building a squad” that can challenge for a place for Euro 2024.

Thinly veiled we have a lot of players across most positions who are ‘much of a muchness’.

The NARRATIVE is…What is the real Ireland? Will the real Ireland stand up? There’s a combination of results where we can top the group (cc Dan McDonnell). It needs us to win both games and Ukraine to draw their last two against Armenia and Scotland, but can we play well and win when there’s something at stake? Or will we fail to deliver, then play well in a friendly or two ahead of the next competition/batch of games, hopes get ratcheted up again & same thing happens again for another campaign.

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Slightly off topic and for that i apologise but what the fuck is the point in organising a friendly against Malta ??

If Armenia turn us over in Dublin next week then we might get relegated to Group C. Good forward planning from Jonathan Hill to get us action against potential opponents in the next Nations League campaign.*

*Please disregard factual inaccuracies in the above paragraph.

Eh, forcing Farrugia to make a call, us or them

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Will be very interesting to see how Cullen fares against McGinn, Armstrong or McTominay if he isnt at centre back.

He has looked one of the best players in the Championship this season for Burnley. Very secure technically, inventive passer, has gotten much stronger and fitter. At 26, he looks in his prime.

I’d be reasonably confident we can “get a result (positive)” against the Jocks, the emotion of the Queens passing will have worn off by Saturday

If asked to pick by starting XI I’d go with

Bazunu

The Doc and Brady at wing backs

Centre half’s of Collins, O Shea and Egan

Midfield 3 of Cullen, Hendrick and Mollumby (Knight to come after 60 mins to add some legs)

Troy the boy and Chideoze up front (Obefami on after 70 minutes)

Suspect Duffy will get a start

That is the exact team I would start with. I only saw most of the first half of the SCO v UKN last evening I thought the Scots were all huff and puff but that Ukraine would win in the end. I nearly choked on my Weetabix this morning when I saw Scotland won 3-0.

Score prediction 1-1 (Brady)

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How is Hendrick playing at Reading ?

I absolutely don’t rate him and wouldn’t have him near the team. I think alan browne offers way more

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Brownevis a much better player indeed. Bigger engine and far more honest out of possession. Doesn’t give awaycthe ball as much either.

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Good too see Keith Treacy looking well on the analysis for the France v Austria match. Has had a tough run of it.

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It’s very hard to gauge Stephen Kenny’s Ireland. I’m slightly sceptical of the management but cautiously optimistic because of a decent core of lads in their early 20’s. The upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers next year will finally allow us to make a definitive judgement.

As regards this campaign, the defeat in Yerevan against Armenia is proving costly. We’d be on 7 points and bang in contention if we’d mustered a win there. Overall though I still tend to take a MO’N view towards the Nations League and see them as glorified friendlies.

Not getting relegated and not getting promoted probably suits us for a while yet.
I assume promotion means you’d be in a group with the big guns? Maybe I’ve it wrong and we are actually 3rd tier?

Staying put is the finest, ya second tier.

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Probably a lot of coin to be made in the top tier.