International Friendly Preview: Scotland -v- Republic of Ireland

Fri, Jul 07 2017

Katie McCabe in action during the 0-0 draw with Iceland last month. Credit: Al Robinson

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SCOTLAND

Scotland welcome the Republic of Ireland to Stark's Park in Kirkcaldy on Friday night, the home of Raith Rovers, for their final warm-up game ahead of Euro 2017 (kick-off 7.30pm, live on BBC ALBA).

 

It will also be somewhat of an emotional game for manager Anna Signeul, as it'll be her final game on Scottish soil before taking over the Finland national team after the Euros.

 

“Preparation has gone really well for the game,” Signeul told the Scottish FA's official website.

 

“I’m really pleased with how things have gone so far but I’m sad for the players who aren’t here through injury as they’ve played such a large part as well.


 

“I think we’ll use this game to refine our tactics as well as give a few players some game time as we have some people who haven’t played much recently.”

 

Signeul hailed goalkeeper Gemma Fay, who is set to reach an outstanding landmark against Ireland as she makes her 200th international appearance.

 

“Gemma Fay could make her 200th cap tonight which is absolutely fantastic. She has invested 19 years of her life in the national team.

 

“She has been so committed and deserves to reach 200 caps. She has made a lot of sacrifices to juggle playing football and a full-time job.

 

Signeul has fitness doubts over Rachel Corsie, Kirsty Smith and Jo Love ahead of the game but all three could be passed fit to play.

 

 

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

The Republic of Ireland's final friendly game before their World Cup qualifying campaign sees them face another European Championships qualifier.

 

Last time out, in Tallaght last month, Ireland held Euros-bound Iceland to a 0-0 draw following on from a 1-0 victory over Slovakia in March.

 

That result meant manager Colin Bell has lost just one of his six games in charge, the 2-0 defeat to a strong North Korea side in the Cyprus Cup 3rd/4th place play-off.

 

“It [Scotland] is going to be really difficult for us, if not our toughest test yet since I took on the role,” Bell said.

 

“They’re currently preparing for the European Championships and they obviously did incredibly well to qualify for those Championships.

 

“But also, we’ve got players who are just coming into the squad from their holidays during the off-season so we need to make sure everyone is at the right level to go out there and perform.

 

“We’ve made some good progress this year and have been able to keep several clean sheets in our recent matches.

 

“However, I know the players can get to another level and playing opposition like Scotland will only help us do that.

 

“We want to go into that qualification campaign on a high so it’s really important we get a result but it won’t be easy.

 

“We’ll be looking at a few options leading upto the match but it’s another fixture I’m really looking forward to.”

 

Bell will be without striker Steph Roche, who misses out with a hamstring injury, while goalkeeper Emma Byrne is absent due to educational commitments.

 

 

Referee: TBC

 

 

MATCH STATS

The Republic of Ireland have won three of Colin Bell's six games in charge, drawing two and losing one.

 

Bell's team have kept clean sheets in four of those six games, but have also failed to score in three.

 

Friday marks goalkeeper Gemma Fay's 200th appearance for the Scotland national team.

 

Fay made her debut in a World Cup qualifier agains the Czech Republic, which ended in a draw, meaning Scotland required a 17-0 win over Lithuania to reach a play-off, a result they duly achieved.

 

 

BETTING

Scotland 2/5; Draw 3/1; Republic of Ireland 6/1.

 

PREDICTION

Scotland 1 – 1 Republic of Ireland

 

 

Scotland

Injured: None.

Doubtful: Rachel Corsie, Kirsty Smith, Jo Love.

Suspended: None.

 

Republic of Ireland

Injured: Steph Roche (hamstring).

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

Unavailable: Emma Byrne.