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Stokes hoping for luck of the Irish

He has scored more than 100 goals in a career that has taken him from his homeland through England and Scotland.

However, Anthony Stokes believes a goal for the Republic of Ireland against Scotland at Celtic Park would be the highlight of his career so far.

This dream faces a series of encounters with awkward reality. The venue for the match has still to be decided and Stokes is far from certain to start.

He also admitted: "I haven't scored for Ireland yet at senior level, so it's something I've thought about many nights. I need to keep myself in the squad and keep pushing for a place because there's a lot of competition."

Stokes has been recalled to the Irish squad by Martin O'Neill after being banished by previous manager, Giovanni Trapattoni. He is determined to make an impact at senior level after a successful period in the under-21 team. "I haven't got as many caps as I would have liked," he conceded.

Stokes could also find Celtic team-mate Leigh Griffiths on the opposite side of the park when Scotland play the Republic and the Irishman has been impressed by the former Hibernian striker.

"It's great for him to settle in so quickly and get his first goal," he said after Griffiths scored against Hearts on Saturday. "He's done brilliantly overall since he came in."

He also said that playing at Celtic would give his fellow striker the perfect platform to present his credentials to Gordon Strachan, the national manager.

Griffiths may miss tonight's match at Pittodrie because of a calf strain and Stokes is braced for a testing game.

"Off the back of our last result against them, there's a little bit of extra spice going into this game," said Stokes in reference to the William Hill Scottish Cup defeat suffered by the champions this month.

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