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Combined XI: All-time Scotland and Northern Ireland team

| 25.03.2015

Scotland are set to host Northern Ireland at Hampden Park for an exciting international friendly, ahead of the two nation’s respective upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Gordon Strachan’s men, 6/4 with Coral to win to nil, will soon be facing Group D strugglers Gibraltar, while Michael O’Neill’s high-flying Group F team will contest Finland.

Ahead of this anticipated friendly clash between the British rivals, Coral writers have come up with a combined all-time starting line-up made up former Scotland and Northern Ireland greats.

Do you agree with our selections?

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Goalkeeper: Harry Gregg (Northern Ireland)
A fierce stopper in his prime, having earned 25 caps for Northern Ireland, Gregg featured 247 times for Sir Matt Busby’s Manchester United as well.

Also a Munich air disaster survivor, the former shot stopper was voted best goalkeeper at the 1958 World Cup, where he helped his country reach the quarter-finals.

Right back: Pat Rice (Northern Ireland)
The Belfast-born former full back won a domestic League and FA Cup double with Arsenal in 1971 and made an impressive 49 appearances for his country.

Centre back: Alan Hansen (Scotland)
A hugely successful defender for Liverpool and Scotland, Hansen helped lift an amazing three European Cups with the Anfield outfit. At international level, the sweeper claimed 26 caps and featured at the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

Centre back: Dave Mackay (Scotland)
Mackay was a versatile defender, who regularly operated as a sweeper during his highly successful career at Hearts. The Scot was part of the double-winning Tottenham team in 1961, and made 22 appearances for his country, also featuring at the 1958 World Cup.

Left back: Mal Donaghy (Northern Ireland)
Making an incredible 91 appearances for Northern Ireland, Donaghy was an ever-present full back, playing a key part in his country’s two World Cup campaigns in 1982 and 1986.

The former Luton Town defender was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson in 1988 and was part of the European Cup Winners Cup winning squad in 1991.

Centre midfield: Graeme Souness (Scotland)
Souness was the captain of the very successful Liverpool side in the 1980s and also captained Scotland, winning 54 caps and playing at three World Cups in his career.

Watch highlights of Souness’ successful Liverpool career, including some stunning top-flight strikes.

Centre midfield: Martin O’Neill (Northern Ireland)
Currently the manager of the Republic of Ireland, O’Neill enjoyed a superb playing career at both club and international level.

The former midfielder won the the European Cup twice with Nottingham Forest and was capped 64 times for Northern Ireland, also captaining the side at the 1982 World Cup.

Right wing: Jimmy Johnstone (Scotland)
In 2002 Johnstone was voted as Celtic’s greatest ever player by the fans, after a clinical career that saw him strike 129 goals in 515 outings for the Bhoys. The Hoops legend earned 23 caps for Scotland and won an historic European Cup with Celtic in 1967.

Watch highlights of Johnstone’s sensational Celtic career.

Attacking midfield: Kenny Dalglish (Scotland)
In his 22-year playing career for Celtic, Liverpool and Scotland, Dalglish won three European Cups while at Anfield, and is his country’s all-time leading goalscorer and most capped player.

Left wing: George Best (Northern Ireland)
Regarded as one of the greatest players ever, Belfast-born Best captivated Old Trafford as a Manchester United star, helping to fire the Red Devils to a famous European Cup triumph in 1968. The United legend was capped 37 times for Northern Ireland and netted nine goals.

Watch Best play against England in 1971, including his famous disallowed strike past Gordon Banks.

Striker: Denis Law (Scotland)
Law is best known for his sublime 11-year career at Old Trafford, where he got 237 goals in 404 appearances, and is second only to Sir Bobby Charlton in the club’s record scoring charts.

The prolific forward is the only Scot to have ever won the Ballon d’Or and also represented his country at the 1974 World Cup.

Strachan’s current Scotland set-up are odds-on 8/11 to topple Northern Ireland in their friendly encounter.



Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.