Is what we’re hoping for anyways, because the Ireland v England game was just pants.
Ireland are sitting two points behind the freedom fighters of Scotland, after Shaun Maloney scored the only goal on 75 minutes as the Scots beat the Irish 1-0 at Celtic Park last November.
That game meant that Ireland are without a win in their last three Group D games, with two draws and that loss following the 7-0 rout of Gibraltar.
Scotland on the other hand are yet to win away from home in this group. So a dull dreary game could be ahead. A draw looks to be on the cars when you see that Ireland’s record in ten games against Scotland is now W4 D2 L4 – Even stevens.
Competitively though, Ireland have beaten Scotland only once in five encounters (W1 D1 L3) – 1-0 in a UEFA European Championship qualifier in 1987.
But… Ireland do have one massive advantage over them. One thing that is surely looming large over the Scottish players at night… No not the lack of freedom (too soon?), but Ireland beat Scotland 1-0 in the final of the 2011 Carling Cup of Nations.
A Ronaldo-esque dribble from Paul McShane around Scotland’s Nessi, before a lay off to Robbie Keane. Arguably Trapattoni’s biggest success. (Euro 2012 has been wiped from memory).
Generally speaking though, how do Ireland and Scotland perform against their neighbours? Well ask no more!
Versus Northern Ireland:
Ireland can only be confident playing against Wales, currently unbeaten against the Welsh after four games, while Scotland’s favourite opponent is Northern Ireland, having only lost one game to them.
Both teams have poor records against Engerland. Ireland and England have only met 15 times, while the Scots have battled it out with the English 112 times. Last weekend’s game between Ireland and England at the Aviva is already forgotten about. Seriously, they could have at least had a streaker or something. There would have been more ball action.
Being honest, these games are far from riveting goals wise. The last big win came in 1975 when England beat Scotland 5-1. Since then, the games have averaged between one and two goals per game. Heed this warning: Don’t nip out for tea during the game, you might miss the only goal.
Win Ratio’s versus the “Home Nations”
38% – Scotland P138 W53 D30 L55
27.5% – Ireland P29 W8 D14 L7
So Saturday’s game sees a team who lose more often than win square up against a team who rarely lose… but aren’t very likely to beat you either. Should be riveting.
To brighten it up, (and also because we fancied dossing a bit… wink wink), we carried out a FIFA 15 simulation of Saturday’s game!
Ireland win 1-0 thanks to a 19th minute goal from Mr. Galaxy – Robbie Keane. Could be a decent shout as the record books say that every Scottish win is followed up by an Irish one, and the fact that there hasn’t been more than two goals scored by one team since 1961, so here’s how that looks odds-wise
If you’re struggling to get excited about this weekend’s game, try this on for size: Set your goosebumps to ready and relive the glory days. Sshh… don’t worry, your boss will probably watch as well.