Next Game

Scotland v Qatar

Friday, 05 June 2015, 19:45

International Match

Last Game

Scotland 6 - 1 Gibraltar

Sunday, 29 March 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group D

Strachan thrilled by Euro draw

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan is relishing the forthcoming European Championship qualifiers following the draw in Nice.

Last Updated: 23/02/14 at 16:30 Post Comment

Gordon Strachan: Scotland boss is looking forward to the Group D campaign

Gordon Strachan: Scotland boss is looking forward to the Group D campaign

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Strachan's team have been paired with Germany, Republic of Ireland, Poland, Georgia and tournament debutants Gibraltar in Group D.

The Scots hope to return to the finals of a major tournament for the first time since the 1998 World Cup, which took place in France, the venue of the Euro 2016 finals.

Strachan will come up against his predecessor at Celtic Martin O'Neill and former Hoops midfielder Roy Keane, who are at the head of the Ireland coaching staff.

And the Scotland boss is thrilled at the prospect of facing the Irish, although he knows no quarter will be given when the games come round.

"It is exciting," Strachan said. "There are some groups you might call mundane but we're definitely in an exciting group that should excite everybody.

"The two people I walked into the room with were Martin and Roy for the draw, and I just seen them just now and they're excited as well.

"We're excited but we're competitive as well. We're all smiling just now but we know fine well that the gloves will come off.

"We've got a hard group. And I think the teams in our group will be saying 'this is going to be hard' and you never know how it's going to fluctuate over the next couple of years - the form of a team, the form of individual players, the injuries, so it's very hard to predict at this moment.

"If we can keep all of our players fit then we'll have a chance and the Republic, Poland will be thinking the same, Georgia will be thinking the same.

"This is a real good level that the players have got to play at. I think if we play to the level we can play, and where we want to go to, we can definitely qualify."

Ireland counterpart Martin O'Neill is also enthused at the chance of returning to Scotland and facing Strachan.

O'Neill said: "They will be great occasions, I hope. And I'm sure he's looking forward to it. I'm sure he'll be as excited as I am myself.

"It is great. It is tough. I'm sure there are other groups that we might have preferred to have been in but nevertheless we get on with it.

"Let us go positively into the group. Taking aside Germany, who are the outstanding side, let's go for it."

The two matches between Scotland and Ireland will take place on Friday November 14 in Glasgow, and Saturday 13 Jun next year in Dublin.

Scotland get their hardest match out of the way first - away to Germany. They finish with Germany at home, Poland at home - which could well be the critical match of the campaign - and finally minnows Gibraltar away.

The Irish start with a tough away day in Georgia and they have a tough finish, with the Georgians and Germany in Dublin, and then a trip to Poland in their final group game.

Scotland fixtures:

Sunday 7 Sept 2014: (a) v Germany

Saturday 11 Oct: (h) v Georgia

Tuesday 14 Oct: (a) Poland

Friday 14 Nov: (h) v Rep of Ireland

Sunday 28 Mar 2015: (h) v Gibraltar

Saturday 13 Jun: (a) v Rep of Ireland

Friday 4 Sept: (a) v Georgia

Monday 7 Sept: (h) v Germany

Thursday 8 Oct: (h) v Poland

Sunday 11 Oct: (a) v Gibraltar

Ireland fixtures:

Sunday 7 Sept 2014: (a) v Georgia

Saturday 11 Oct: (h) v Gibraltar

Tuesday 14 Oct: (a) v Germany

Friday 14 Nov: (a) v Scotland

Sunday 28 Mar 2015: (h) v Poland

Saturday 13 Jun: (h) v Scotland

Friday 4 Sept: (a) v Gibraltar

Monday 7 Sept: (h) v Georgia

Thursday 8 Oct: (h) v Germany

Sunday 11 Oct: (a) v Poland

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

ell, if he'd be unable to reject an offer from Barcelona or Madrid, he may as well join Arsenal while he's waiting for them to call. It's a logical progression.

bouldasbrass
Lacazette: I'll only leave for CL

D

zeko is nothing more than a Bosnian Andy Carroll.

uncle monty
The New Dawn Gossip

A

h ha ha, excellent. Let's hope he goes on the run. Then they hunt piggy down for scoffing all the apples. At least he's done something right - he has united football fans, regardless of who they support, against FIFA and all those at the top who have been bleeding the game for their own means and giving nothing back.

GVMUFC
Blatter 'under investigation'

Footer 365

Rafa Benitez named new coach of Real Madrid

Rafa Benitez has been confirmed as the new coach of Real Madrid on a three-year contract.

Michel Platini calls off UEFA meeting after Sepp Blatter quits

UEFA has postponed a Champions League meeting after Sepp Blatter announced his intention to resign as FIFA president.

South Africa officials again deny bribe allegations

South African officials have again denied allegations they paid a $10m bribe for votes during the 2010 World Cup bid

Mail Box

Celebrate Good Times, But Hard Work Starts Now

The Mailbox is joyous over the impending departure of Sepp Blatter, but offers a reminder that problems remain. Plus title winners, CL play-offs and Nigel Adkins...

Liverpool 2015 Feels Like Liverpool 2011...

One Mailer says Benteke = Carroll, Bellamy = Milner and Clyne = Downing. Plus we have U21 Euro impatience, farewell Rio, Rafa Benitez, Milner, FIFA and title play-offs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company