FORMER Scotland manager Craig Brown (below) believes Robbie Keane's international record - 65 goals scored for his country - should be enough to earn a role against the Scots on Saturday.
Brown, in Dublin as part of the McDonald's FAI Future Football Programme, was one of Scotland's most successful coaches, leading the country to two tournament appearances at Euro '96 and the 1998 World Cup in France. He was an assistant to Andy Roxburgh in September 1987 when Ireland drew their last competitive meeting with the Scots in Dublin.
"You would be very tempted to pick Robbie Keane," he concedes. "The last thing I want to do is pick someone else's team, I hated when other managers did that when I was managing Scotland. So I wouldn't like to be presumptuous.
"But I would trust Martin O'Neill. If you were Scotland, and you see a guy with all those goals and appearances, you know you have a problem. If you're the Scottish defence, you look at his record… he can score a goal.
"Equally, if he comes off the bench, he is what I would call a 'cheer' substitution. I used to call Ally McCoist that. It was a positive substitution. McCoist was a great guy to get the team lifted. I would imagine Robbie Keane is like that.
"A goal is required, he immediately lifts the crowd. If he's on from the start, he's a problem for Scotland, even if he's come on as a substitute."