Friday 24 November 2017

Scotland to warm up for crucial qualifier with Ireland at the Aviva against Qatar

Gordon Strachan's Scotland will face Qatar on June 5
Gordon Strachan's Scotland will face Qatar on June 5

Scotland will prepare for their crucial 2016 European Championship qualifier against Republic of 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 told the Scottish FA's website: "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.

"We will ensure those whose seasons finish in early May will have a fitness programme to work on over the break, those involved in play-offs have adequate recovery and maintenance and those who may be involved in Scottish Cup final or FA Cup final also have a programme tailored to their needs.

"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."

Qatar will use the FA's national football centre at St George's Park as its base for the friendly match against Scotland in June and also their challenge match against Northern Ireland on 31st May.

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