Scotland v Republic of Ireland: All eyes on McCarthy and McGeady

Republic of Ireland duo James McCarthy and Aiden McGeady can expect a hostile reception in Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland.

The Everton pair were born in Scotland but opted to play for Ireland and the Celtic Park crowd are likely to make their feelings on the matter abundantly clear.

It is an issue that has roused heated debate, with Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given leaping to the defence of his under-fire team-mates after former Scotland international Gordon McQueen encouraged supporters to make McCarthy and McGeady feel as unwelcome as possible.

"The comments were a bit unfair," said Given.

"Some of the Scottish players were born in England but have Scottish parents. It can't be one rule for Ireland and one rule for others. They are in the exact same situation, so some of the comments were a bit personal and a wee bit over the top.

"I just think there is no need to go to that sort of level. As I say, they have players in their squad as well who weren't born in Scotland and playing for them. I think it was unfair on James and Aiden to single them out."

McCarthy's availability has been a source of doubt as the 24-year-old has been struggling with a hamstring injury, but manager Martin O'Neill is hopeful the midfielder will be involved.

O'Neill will be seeking to build on an impressive start to Ireland's Group D campaign, having earned a last-gasp draw against world champions Germany in Gelsenkirchen a month ago to make it seven points from three matches.

And the surroundings will be familiar to the 62-year-old, who won three league titles during his Celtic tenure between 2000 and 2005.

However, it will be a completely new experience for Cyrus Christie and David McGoldrick if either is afforded the opportunity to win a first international cap, having been called up on Monday.

Both have been in impressive form in the Championship this term, full-back Christie helping Derby County to the top of the table, while striker McGoldrick has scored five times for Ipswich Town.

Stoke City defender Marc Wilson is ruled out, and also misses the friendly against the United States next week, after suffering a hamstring injury against Tottenham on Sunday.

Scotland will draw level with their visitors with a win, but they were less than convincing in the last match on home soil in October, when an Akaki Khubutia own goal sealed a 1-0 triumph over Georgia.

The performance in the 2-2 draw against Poland three days later was more impressive and Gordon Strachan's men are only three points off the top of the group.

The hosts have Johnny Russell in the squad for the first time after he replaced injured Derby team-mate Craig Bryson (hip), while Hearts defender Callum Paterson has replaced Sunderland's Phil Bardsley (groin).

Ireland won 1-0 when the two sides last met in 2011, record scorer Robbie Keane netting the decisive goal.