Euro 2016: Scotland assistant boss eyes win in Dublin

Shaun Maloney (left) scored the only goal when Scotland last played Republic of Ireland
Shaun Maloney (left) scored the only goal when Scotland last played Republic of Ireland
Euro 2016 qualifier: Republic of Ireland v Scotland
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: 13 June Kick-off: 17:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland, live text on BBC Sport website

It may take a moment of magic to settle Saturday's Euro 2016 qualifier with the Republic of Ireland, says Scotland assistant manager Mark McGhee.

A wonderful goal from Shaun Maloney gave Scotland a 1-0 win when the teams met in Glasgow in November.

"The two squads are fairly well matched," said McGhee. "I think that was shown in the match over here.

"We won it with a bit of brilliance and it will probably take something like that to unlock one of the defences."

Scotland sit third in Group D on 10 points, two points ahead of the Irish.

Poland, who are at home to Georgia this weekend, lead the way on 11 points, while Germany, away to minnows Gibraltar, are second - on the same mark as Scotland.

"I think it will be close but we believe we can go there and cause them problems and win the game," said McGhee of the trip to Dublin.

"We'll be trying to win the game but they'll be saying the same thing.

"They were hurt after losing the first game to us and they'll be looking for revenge and to keep themselves in the section."

In such a tight group, another Scottish success may make it difficult for Martin O'Neill's side to make up ground.

"As coaches this is the biggest game we've had but then the next one will become the biggest and the one after that," added McGhee.

"We recognise the importance of the game and we know it's going to be a really difficult game.

"Our players have a lot of big game experience and they relish occasions like these, they thrive on it."

Alan Hutton
Alan Hutton is back with the Scotland squad following a break after playing in the FA Cup final

McGhee confirmed that Aston Villa full-back Alan Hutton had joined up with the squad after being given permission to miss Friday's friendly win over Qatar.

The former Aberdeen and Celtic striker also suggested that goalkeeper David Marshall would retain his place.

Meanwhile, Scotland forward Steven Naismith is determined to build on the good work of the team, who have lost just once in this campaign - away to World Cup winners Germany.

"It's a big game because it's the next one," said the Everton player. "That's the theme of this group because so many teams are doing so well and fighting it out for the top spots.

"We don't see it as any different to the other games. We know how quickly one performance can change the look of the group.

"We've worked hard for what we have from the first half of the campaign and we believe we can take something from every game."

And the 28-year-old is braced for a physical contest at the Aviva Stadium.

"We felt we deserved to win the first game and that gives us confidence," he added. "The last game was tight and very cagey to start with. I'm pretty sure this game will be similar.

"It will have more of a British feel than a normal international. It's two teams who will give their all to get the result."

Group D as it stands

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