Thursday 14 December 2017

Scots to face Qatar before Irish tie

Shaun Maloney
Shaun Maloney

Scotland will prepare for their crucial 2016 European Championship qualifier against Ireland with a challenge match against Qatar at Easter Road on June 5, the Scottish FA has confirmed.

The 6-1 home victory against Gibraltar took Gordon Strachan's side into third place in Group D, just behind second-placed Germany on goal difference, ahead of the visit to Dublin's Aviva Stadium on June 13.

The Scotland boss sees the friendly match against the 2022 World Cup hosts, which has a 7.45pm kick-off, as essential for players whose seasons in Scotland's Premiership and England's Premier League and Championship will have finished at various stages from early May.

He said: "We are all looking forward to the next fixture in the European Qualifiers and given the June fixture arrives at a difficult time for ourselves and the Republic of Ireland, essentially between the end of the current season and prior to the start of next season, it is important we plan as meticulously as we can while realising that we won't know the full picture in terms of our squad's individual circumstances until May.

"The match against Qatar will give us an opportunity for competitive match time before playing the Republic of Ireland and we look forward to playing in front of the fans at Easter Road in June."

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