Scotland to play Qatar friendly at Easter Road

SCOTLAND will warm up for their crunch Euro 2016 qualifier against the Republic of Ireland with a friendly against Qatar at Easter Road.

Scotland celebrate a goal against Gibraltar. The Scots will take on Qatar at Easter Road in June. Picture: John Devlin

Gordon Strachan’s men will take on the 2022 World Cup hosts at Hibernian’s stadium on Friday June 5th as part of rigorous preparations for the must-win tie in Dublin.

The 6-1 victory over Gibraltar earlier this month propelled Scotland into joint second place in Group D ahead of the trip to the Aviva Stadium

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And Strachan believes the friendly against Qatar will be the perfect refresher for players in the Scottish Premiership and England’s Premier League and Championship, whose seasons will have finished at various times from the beginning of May.

Easter Road last hosted a Scotland match in 2012. Picture: SNS

The Scotland boss said: “We are all looking forward to the next fixture in the European Qualifiers and given the June fixture arrives at a difficult time for ourselves and the Republic of Ireland, essentially between the end of the current season and prior to the start of next season, it is important we plan as meticulously as we can while realising that we won’t know the full picture in terms of our squad’s individual circumstances until May.

“We will ensure those whose seasons finish in early May will have a fitness programme to work on over the break, those involved in play-offs have adequate recovery and maintenance and those who may be involved in Scottish Cup final or FA Cup final also have a programme tailored to their needs.

“The match against Qatar will give us an opportunity for competitive match time before playing the Republic of Ireland and we look forward to playing in front of the fans at Easter Road in June.”

Qatar will base themselves at the FA’s national football centre at St George’s Park. They will also take on Northern Ireland on May 31.