All eyes will be on the Aviva this afternoon as Ireland take on Scotland in Dublin, with live streaming and latest team news from the Irish capital.
Against the backdrop of their own FIFA scandal, a small car crashed involving management, a family death and the 25th anniversary of Italia ’90, the Republic of Ireland have been preparing for what is arguably their most important game in years.
The clash with Scotland will be the defining moment of Martin O’Neill’s reign. Win and they are back in with a chance of reaching the European Championship next summer, lose and they are most likely out.
The problem for the former Sunderland manager is that he is still learning his trade in International football with the clash with the Scots just the 6th time he will have managed for a competitive game.
However the stakes are high. The tragic midweek death of two cousins, in a work related accident, of Robbie Keane means the LA Galaxy forward could miss out.
Definitely out is Bournemouth’s impressive midfielder Harry Arter while Scottish-born McGeady sat out training on Friday because of continuing groin and back problems.
Scotland meanwhile will be in high spirits. Gordon Strachan has no injury worries ahead of the game although he needs to make a decision as to whether to bring in Steven Fletcher.
Scotland have won each of their last three games, beating Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and Qatar. They have kept clean sheets in two of the them and have lost just one of their last seven, a 3-1 reversal to England at Hampden in a friendly.
Scotland Arrive in Ireland
— AVIVA Stadium (@AVIVAStadium) June 12, 2015
Scotland v Ireland – Last encounter, Scotland 1 Ireland 0 Nov 2014
Ireland are also in solid form after losing just one of their last 8, the disappointing 1-0 defeat to Scotland last November.
Since them they have beaten the USA 4-1 and drawn with both Poland and England, the former a qualifier at home.
The results have left them on 8 points, 2 behind Scotland and three off the top. A defeat on Saturday coupled with expected wins for Poland and Germany, at Georgia and Gibraltar respectively would all but end any hope of reaching France next year.