Scotland welcome the Republic of Ireland to Hampden Park today where revenge will be high on the host’s agenda in Nations League B Group 1. Steve Clarke’s side were humbled 3-0 by Ireland in Dublin back in June, however, Scotland are unlikely to play so poorly again, especially with top spot and promotion within reach.
Below you can find a collection of stats for each team with info on shots, xG, corners, cards, fouls, goals and more taken from their respective World Cup qualification campaigns. Hopefully, you’ll find them useful when putting your bet builders together this evening.
Scotland recorded an excellent 3-0 victory over Ukraine on Wednesday evening and Steve Clarke is unlikely to make many changes to his winning team today.
Nathan Patterson’s injury in midweek means a switch is enforced at right back however, with Brentford’s Aaron Hickey expected to step in. Elsewhere, Lyndon Dyke’s brace off the bench against Ukraine could earn him a starting spot in attack ahead of Che Adams.
Ireland manager Stephen Kenny favours a three-man defence and there are unlikely to be any tactical shifts from the Irish at Hampden Park this evening.
A youthful XI featuring 20-year-old keeper Gavin Bazunu, defender Nathan Collins (21), midfielders Jason Knight (21) and Jayson Molumby (23) as well as striker Troy Parrot (20) could be fielded.
Scotland’s 1.64 goals per 90 during their World Cup qualification campaign makes for modest reading, though their xG (1.62 p/90) indicates their haul was a snug fit.
The Scots won twice as many corners (6.00 p/90) as they conceded (3.00) and they won nine of them to Ireland’s six when the teams met in Dublin in the summer.
Ireland conceded just eight times in eight matches in their World Cup qualification group, though their xG against (1.64 p/90) and shots against figures (14.37) hint that they might have shipped more had Gavin Bazunu not been in such inspirational form between the sticks.
Ireland’s matches were high on aggression during their ill-fated qualification campaign and they featured 2.38 cards for and 2.13 against the Irish per 90 minutes.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Southampton’s Stuart Armstrong was a major presence in the final third for Scotland during their World Cup qualification phase, racking up 5.03 shots and 2.01 shots on target per 90 minutes.
Wednesday’s two-goal hero Lyndon Dykes hit an impressive 1.85 shots p/90 during the same campaign, while Aston Villa star John McGinn offered plenty from his more advanced midfield role (2.10 shots per 90).
Tottenham youngster Troy Parrott made a real impression for Ireland in attack during the team’s World Cup qualifiers when he clocked 2.69 shots on target (p/90). Parrot was on target when Ireland beat Scotland in June and he needed just one attempt to register.
Callum Robinson (4.13 shots p/90) and Chiedozie Ogbene (1.78 shots) also caught the eye when called upon, while giant centre-half Shane Duffy (1.17 shots) tends to wreak havoc from set pieces.
Player Goals and Assists
John McGinn scored four times and claimed one assist for Scotland in the team’s World Cup qualification contests and the midfielder notched for the second time in as many Nations League games when he found the net against Ukraine on Wednesday.
QPR’s Lyndon Dykes matched McGinn for goals in the WC qualifiers and the 26-year-old bagged a brace from the substitute’s bench in midweek. Southampton’s Che Adams provided four goal contributions (3G, 1A) in ten appearances in the World Cup qualifiers, though he has registered just once in the Nations League so far (vs Armenia).
Callum Robinson (three goals) and Chiedozie Ogbene (two goals) were Ireland’s go-to duo for match-winning moments in the nation’s World Cup qualification run, while Shane Duffy (two goals) was a menace from dead ball deliveries.
Troy Parrott and Michael Obafemi combined to devastating effect when Ireland beat Scotland 3-0 in June. The strikers claimed a goal and assist each in Dublin.
Lyndon Dykes (1.38 fouls p/90) is an old-fashioned number nine and the striker likes to use his physical attributes to unsettle defenders. However, he often has his card marked for some of his challenges (three bookings during WC qualifiers).
Nathan Patterson (2.90 fouls p/90) racks up his fair share of fouls on the right side of the Scottish defence, though his replacement this evening, Aaron Hickey, is an able deputy. The 20-year-old has been cautioned three times in seven Premier League appearances for Brentford this term.
John McGinn is also worth watching in midfield. The 27-year-old tends to add bite to his tackles and his fouls (1.47) and cards (2) per 90 figures from World Cup qualification run outs make for interesting reading.
Jason Knight (fouled 3.08 times p/90) is a clever operator in midfield for Ireland and the Derby County starlet could have John McGinn breathing down his neck this evening.
Elsewhere, watch out for Troy Parrott (fouled 1.43 times per 90) when he drifts into the channel to find space. Scotland’s Aaron Hickey will be waiting to acquaint himself with the 20-year-old forward, while defender Dara O’Shea (fouled 1.25 times p/90) faces a robust test against Lyndon Dykes.
Match-Ups to watch
Lyndon Dykes vs Dara O’Shea
Aaron Hickey vs Troy Parrott
John McGinn vs Jason Knight
The majority of Ireland’s prime card candidates are found in midfield, where Jason Molumby (2 cards), Josh Cullen (2 cards) and Jason Knight (3.08 fouls p/90) will all be ready to mix it with their Scottish counterparts.
Alan Browne was unmatched during Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers for both fouls (5.00) and cards (3) per 90, though the Preston midfielder isn’t expected to start today.
John McGinn is the heartbeat of this Scottish team and the Aston Villa midfielder is never far from the action. McGinn was fouled 2.74 times per 90 during Scotland’s World Cup qualification fixtures and his battles with Irish pair Jason Molumby and Josh Cullen should be worth tracking.
Likewise, Scott McTominay (fouled 1.5 times p/90) enjoys getting in the thick of it and he should find himself being shadowed by Ireland’s Jason Knight at times this evening.
Match-Ups to watch
Jason Molumby vs John McGinn
Jason Knight vs Scott McTominay
Josh Cullen vs John McGinn
That’s all for this one, should hopefully boost your chances of a bet builder win (but hopefully not Scotland’s chances of leapfrogging England!).
If you’re placing a bet, please keep stakes sensible and let me know what you’ve gone for. I want winners.