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Fletcher Ready For O'Shea Clash

Sunderland stars Steven Fletcher and John O'Shea are likely to meet in a huge Euro 2016 qualifier at Celtic Park this Friday.

Fletcher in action against world champions Germany in September
Fletcher in action against world champions Germany in September
Simon Hofmann

In-form Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher says he can't wait to take on club-mate John O'Shea when Scotland host the Republic of Ireland in what promises to be a feisty encounter in Glasgow on Friday evening.

The 27-year-old hitman has been enjoying something of a renaissance in recent weeks and would love to cap it off with a winning result against O'Shea's Ireland.

“I'm looking forward to it, to be fair. I have been running rings around him in training, so if I could do it in the game, it would be fine!

"I was pleased with my performances with Scotland. I was unlucky not to get a goal, but I was happy the way I played, and hopefully I can keep my place for the next game."

Both Scotland and the Republic started well in their quest to reach France for the finals in just under two years time, with the Irish joint-top of Group D alongside Poland on seven points and Scotland sitting three points adrift of the pair.

Sunderland captain John O'Shea, 33, heads into the fixture full of confidence following a goal on the occasion of his 100th cap in a creditable draw with Germany and will be determined to snuff out the significant threat posed by Fletcher.

The Scots, meanwhile, claimed a 2-2 draw in Poland as they continued confounding critics who suggested a pool involving the Germans, Irish and Polish would prove too much for them.

"It was a nightmare when I looked at the group to start with and they picked the first two, and it was Germany and Poland.

"But we have shown - and so have Ireland - that we are more than capable of getting through as well. But I think the Ireland game is important for us."

Scotland will proceed to entertain England in a much-hyped friendly match at the home of Glasgow Celtic next Tuesday, while the United States provide the next opposition for the Irish in Dublin.

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