Goal Gazette

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Scotland are unbeaten in all six of their home matches in the Nations League (W5 D1), keeping four clean sheets along the way. Only Italy (eight) have played more on home soil without losing in the competition.

Shane Duffy hasn’t played a lot of football for Fulham this season but ex-Republic of Ireland keeper Shay Given says he’s “really surprised” that the centre-back has been left out by Stephen Kenny. He gives you so much from set-pieces in attack as well,” Given told Irish broadcaster RTE’s match coverage.

Another former Republic great Liam Brady says the Republic repeating their Dublin victory over the Scots would be a “big scalp” for Kenny. I’m an optimist,” he said. “I’m confident in every game and particularly with the way the Scottish team is playing just now. That performance against Ukraine the other day there was exceptional, so another one like that and everyone will be delighted.”

“We had a great run with nine [unbeaten] in a row there but with all the games we’ve had, if you isolate that one [vs Ukraine], every aspect of the play was first class. I didn’t think Craig Gordon had much to do at all and throughout the team everyone played their part.

“Also, throughout the team you don’t really see a weakness in it. It’s an excellent squad of players, even with Andy Robertson missing. He is the captain, and was the talisman for years, but it proves you don’t just need one individual.

Former Scotland manager Alex McLeish says the win over Ukraine on Wednesday will have given the whole squad a lift. He told BBC Scotland: “The players will be going in with confidence in their boots and intelligence in their heads.

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