Scotland slip sets up qualification for Ireland - Kevin Kilbane

Former Ireland star Kevin Kilbane says Scotland's defeat has created a "wave of optimism" amongst the Irish
Former Ireland star Kevin Kilbane says Scotland's defeat has created a "wave of optimism" among the Irish

Former Republic of Ireland winger Kevin Kilbane expects them to take advantage of Scotland's slip against Georgia and go on to qualify for Euro 2016.

Kilbane watched Gordon Strachan's men fall to a 1-0 defeat in Tbilisi on Friday to open the door for the Irish.

The result pushed Scotland down to fourth in Group D, one point behind Ireland with three games left.

"It's set up for Ireland now, I think we'll go and beat Georgia," Kilbane told BBC Sportsound.

"The one result we were looking for was Scotland in Georgia, that was the one result we were thinking Scotland might slip up."

Ireland face Georgia on Monday in Dublin while Scotland face world champions Germany at Hampden, with Strachan admitting his side need at least a point to keep their hopes of automatic qualification alive.

John O'Shea's late equaliser in Gelsenkirchen gave Ireland a point against Joachim Low's side, but Kilbane does not expect Scotland to do the same.

"With all expectations, Germany will beat Scotland," said Kilbane, who won 110 caps.

"Germany were flat after the World Cup and Ireland managed to get a point over there, but they're a different proposition now and I expect them to win the game.

Scotland fell short against Georgia, falling to fourth in Group D
Scotland fell short against Georgia, falling to fourth in Group D

"Ireland in Georgia were poor themselves, really poor. I actually think Scotland were on a par if not better than Ireland were when they managed to get the result out there. The late goal from Aiden McGeady has set them up through the campaign.

"Scotland had the edge over them (Ireland) over the two games, certainly the better side at Celtic Park and probably the better side after half-time at the Aviva. The swing of results with Georgia beating Scotland, it sets Ireland up now for the last few games."

With the top two in the group qualifying automatically, the best chance for either Scotland or Ireland to make it to France next summer would appear to come through finishing third and entering the play-offs.

However, Kilbane says both side have it in them to beat Poland and aim for second.

He said: "I think both Ireland and Scotland would take third place right now, without a doubt.

"I don't think Poland are a great side, they're a workmanlike side. They're strong, well organised, difficult to break down, but I think Scotland have got a really good chance of beating Poland next month. Take (Robert) Lewandowski out and you've got a beatable side. Overall there's a lot to play for.

Group D table

"Scotland have played the better football. Particularly against Germany and Poland, Scotland have produced the better performances, and over the two games they were the better side as well.

"There's a big chance now for Ireland. I think Ireland can go to Poland and get a win."