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Scotland vs Northern Ireland tips and predictions: Scots back to winning ways in tight game

Scotland welcome Northern Ireland to Hampden Park on Tuesday night (1945 GMT) as Steve Clarke’s side step up their preparations for Euro 2024.

You can catch the ferry from Scotland to Northern Ireland in less than two hours but either country rarely makes the trip across the Irish sea.

You’d be forgiven for wondering if there’s any sort of rivalry between the nations given their proximity, but there isn’t and they’ve only met three times this century.

In scouring the archives ahead of this match we were bewildered to see that the last meeting in 2015 saw Scotland don a white kit at home, while Northern Ireland wore blue.

That game finished 1-0 to the Scots courtesy of Christophe Berra's goal and extended their unbeaten run in head to heads to five matches.

Steve Clarke’s preparations for Euro 2024 got off to a torrid start last weekend as they were thumped 4-0 by the Netherlands.

Michael O’Neill can be pleased with the spirit his side showed in a 1-1 draw away to Romania but there’s no tournament to look forward to for his side.

 

They’ll want to do their bit to spoil the mood in Scotland which has already been tempered by a six-match winless run despite securing qualification.

The highs of beating Spain, the comeback in Norway and a five-match winning run all seem a distant memory for the Tartan Army.

Spain exacted revenge, France reminded them there are levels to this, the Auld enemy breezed past them 3-1 and overall they’re just conceding too many goals.

On the other hand, they should be able to stem the flow against Tuesday’s visitors and recent results have boosted the odds on the Scots keeping a clean sheet.

O’Neill’s side is more than capable of frustrating teams themselves when they get it right, so their defence-first approach could lead to a low-scoring game.

 

Suggested bets

Scotland: Win to nil

Under 2.5 goals

 

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