By Jonty Sutherland. LAST UPDATED October 7th, 2016

Strachan’s Scotland and O’Neill’s Northern Ireland face weekend tests

2018 World Cup qualifying continues


On Saturday both Scotland and Northern Ireland will continue their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaigns against Lithuania and San Marino respectively.

Scotland come into their game against Lithuania after a very convincing 5-1 victory away at Malta. Robert Snodgrass picked up a hattrick in that game and, after some good performances in the Premier League for Hull City, will be looking to add a few more to his tally at Hampden Park this weekend.

They are currently top of qualifying Group F, with their superior goal difference putting them above England. However they will probably face a tougher test in the form of the Lithuanians who drew their opening Group F fixture 2-2 with Slovenia.

Scotland will want to put pressure on group favourites, England, with a victory in front of their home fans in Glasgow.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland prepare to face San Marino as they look to pick up their first win of the qualifying campaign.

Importantly, Michael O’Neill will be desperate for his side to get on the scoresheet after a 0-0 draw against the Czech Republic. The goals won’t come from Will Grigg, however, who misses this game for family reasons while Watford’s Craig Cathcart and Ross County’s Liam Boyce are also unavailable for selection.


On Saturday they face the weakest side in Group C in the form of San Marino who only managed to pick up one point from their 10 Euro 2016 qualifying matches and conceded 36 goals in the process. A victory should be on the cards for a Northern Ireland side that performed admirably at Euro 2016 this Summer, making it out of the group stage.