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Why Shane Duffy must start vs Scotland

shane duffy scotland

The man for the job.

Stephen Kenny faces a number of selection issues going into the Nations League game against Scotland on Saturday night.

One of these comes at the back, with his trusty veteran Shane Duffy not a guaranteed starter in the team.

Duffy hasn’t started a Premier League game at Fulham so far this season, while his potential replacement Dara O’Shea is playing very well at West Brom.

But for this game in particular, Duffy is the man for the job, and he needs to start against Scotland.

Shane Duffy vs Scotland.

Striker Lyndon Dykes, who stands at 6’2, was brought on against Ukraine and it is not an understatement to say that he changed the game.

He scored two goals, two fine headers from set-pieces, that put the game to bed for Steve Clarke’s side.

Dykes bullied the Ukraine defenders to rise above them and beautifully place the ball in the far corner with his head.

Given the fact that Dykes only got 15 minutes on the pitch on Wednesday night, and he definitely used them wisely, it’s safe to assume he will be rewarded with a start against Ireland on Saturday.

As a result, we will need someone to deal with his physical presence up front, which is where Duffy comes in.

John Egan and Nathan Collins are both virtually guaranteed to start, but the additional presence of Duffy in that back three would lead Ireland fans to be far more comfortable whenever Scotland try float the ball into the box.

Shane Duffy vs Scoland.

Duffy is also of course a major presence at the other end of the pitch, and given it’s going to be a very difficult game for Ireland, it could be decided on a set-piece.

While O’Shea can consider himself very unlucky (as can Andrew Omobamidele who misses out through injury), the West Brom defender should start the home game against Armenia where his ball-playing abilities come in handy.

But for Dykes and co., Duffy is the man.

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