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No room for Robbie Keane in Scotland v Ireland Mix ‘n’ Match

| 12.11.2014

There’s a mouth-watering Euro 2016 qualifying Group D clash coming up in Glasgow, with hosts Scotland somewhat uneasy 13/10 favourites to see off Republic of Ireland at Parkhead.

Indeed, it may pay to back the visitors, who are unbeaten competitively under Martin O’Neill, at 4/7 to either win or draw against Gordon Strachan’s men in the double-chance market.

O’Neill’s Boys in Green just about edge their next opponents in our Mix ‘n’ Match, but there’s no place for their record scorer.

ScotsIrishMixnMatchDavid Marshall is readily preferred to David Forde between the sticks, despite the Millwall man impressing since becoming his country’s number one, after the Cardiff stopper’s valiant-but-vain attempts to keep his side in the Premier League last term.

Since returning to the Aston Villa first team this term, right-back Alan Hutton has actually started to look like the player Spurs paid Rangers £9m for back in 2008.

However, with no outstanding left-back in either squad, we’ve shuffled Hutton over there to accommodate outstanding Everton flyer Seamus Coleman on the right.

Centre-half stalwart John O’Shea can’t be ignored, especially after his equalising goal for O’Neill’s side against Germany last time out, so he gets in alongside compatriot Alex Pearce of Reading.

Glasgow-born Irishman James McCarthy has wowed alongside Gareth Barry over the last 12 months at Everton, so he’ll have little problem sharing central midfield with the hosts’ captain Scott Brown.

Just ahead, Aiden McGeady, Steven Naismith and Shane Long provide plenty of pace and penetration, but none of the trio quite reach 6ft, so we’re going to need a target man up front.

Robbie Keane has scored 65 goals for Ireland, but only three in the past 12 months and all of them came against Gibraltar, whereas Steven Fletcher has bagged a couple of Premier League braces for Sunderland since returning from a injury at the start of this campaign.

And he’s tall.

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Alex Fortune