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Dublin: 1°C Thursday 22 April 2021

Robbie Keane does not start against Scotland - here's the Ireland team

Martin O’Neill has opted for the pace of Shane Long up front, dropping Ireland’s captain for the first time since 2001.

Robbie Keane and his 65 international goals are on the bench this evening.
Robbie Keane and his 65 international goals are on the bench this evening.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Updated 19.24

IRELAND’S RECORD GOALSCORER Robbie Keane has been dropped from the team to face Scotland.

Keane has to make do with a place among the substitutes for this evening’s Euro 2016 clash in Celtic Park.

It is the first time that the striker has been available for a competitive game since June 2001 and not started.

Shane Long will lead the Irish attack with Jon Walters, Aiden McGeady and James McClean providing the support.

“Robbie’s been splendid for us, absolutely splendid,” manager Martin O’Neill told RTÉ shortly before kick off. ”He scored a hat-trick [against Gibraltar] and he’s a goalscorer.

“Shane of course scored a couple of goals at the weekend. He’s in good form and looking forward to it.

“He has a little bit of pace up there and I think he can stretch them so he gets the nod.

“I’m sure that Robbie will be chomping at the bit to get on the field.”

Otherwise the team is as expected with Richard Keogh replacing the injured Marc Wilson at centre-half and Darron Gibson and Jeff Hendrick in centre midfield.

John O’Shea will captain the side in Keane’s absence.

Scotland: Marshall, Whittaker, R.Martin, Hanley, Robertson, Maloney, Mulgrew, Brown (c), S.Fletcher, Naismith, Anya.

Ireland: Forde, Coleman, O’Shea (c), Keogh, Ward, McGeady, Hendrick, Gibson, McClean, Long, Walters.

LIVE: Scotland v Ireland, Euro 2016 qualifier

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Niall Kelly

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