Rumour Mill: Chris Martin set for Germany start | Ralph Milne | Brian Laudrup

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Chris Martin could lead line against Germany; Dundee United legend Ralph Milne dies aged 54 and Brian Laudrup reveals he chose Rangers over Barcelona

Martin ‘could lead line’ against Germany

Chris Martin could carry the hopes of a nation on his shoulders tonight if chosen to start against Germany. Picture: PA

Chris Martin could carry the hopes of a nation on his shoulders tonight if chosen to start against Germany. Picture: PA

SCOTLAND boss Gordon Strachan has hinted that Chris Martin could be picked to lead the line against Germany at Hampden tonight after Scotland stuttered in front of goal in Tbilisi on Friday night.

Strachan was asked if Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths could start up front for Scotland, but the former Hoops boss said Martin had a scoring record ‘as good as anybody’s...and in a more competitive league’. (Various)

Tributes paid to Ralph Milne after death at 54

TRIBUTES have been paid to former Scottish footballer Ralph Milne who has died at the age of 54.

The former Dundee United and Manchester United winger had been receiving treatment in hospital for liver problems.

He is well remembered by Dundee United fans for scoring the first goal in a 2-1 victory over rivals Dundee that won United their only Premier League title in 1983. (Various)

Laudrup ‘chose Rangers over Barcelona’

BRIAN Laudrup has revealed he chose Rangers over Barcelona - after Walter Smith offered him a ‘free role’ at Ibrox.

The Ibrox boss told Laudrup that he would have a ‘free role’ at Rangers - something he had longed for at Bayern Munich, AC Milan and Fiorentina.

In an interview with the BBC, the Danish star revealed: “I spoke to Walter [Smith] and said, ‘before you read anything in the papers I’ve just had an offer from Barcelona and I’ve turned it down’.

“He didn’t say anything for a minute and then he said, ‘So you’d prefer to play Falkirk on a Tuesday night?’

“I said, ‘Yeah, I love it’ and he laughed and shook my hand. ‘OK, let’s get on with it,’ he said.” (BBC)

Strachan plays down travel troubles

GORDON Strachan believes the only excuse for failure to gain the point against Germany tonight that he believes would re-ignite Scotland’s Euro 2016 qualification chances is the obvious brilliance of their opponents.

The national team’s manager was trying his best to play down the controversy following the players’ delayed return after Friday’s 1-0 defeat against Georgia.

The Scotland party endured a three-hour wait at the airport due to the late arrival of their charter plane in Tbilisi after it was delayed in Amsterdam.

The hold-up meant the players did not arrive back in Glasgow until 6am on Saturday morning, when they then faced another 30 minutes for their bags to arrive.

It prompted questions to be asked of the Scottish Football Association’s decision not to insist on the plane remaining in Georgia throughout Scotland’s stay. (The Scotsman)

Brown says hard work can undo Germany

SCOTT Brown believes perspiration rather than inspiration will be the key to overcoming Germany this evening.

He was a member of the side that famously defeated France 1-0 in Paris eight years ago, with the Scots reliant on a brilliant piece of opportunism from James McFadden.

A moment of inspiration could well be the difference again tonight at Hampden but Brown insists the players will first have to work hard for each other if they are to give themselves the chance of posting another stunning victory. (Various)

Löw wary of ‘wounded’ Scots at Hampden

GERMANY boss Joachim Löw is wary of facing a fired-up, wounded Scotland at Hampden tonight.

Löw appears genuinely enthused by the prospect of leading his team into Euro 2016 qualifying conflict against Scotland in front of a sell-out crowd at the stadium.

“Coming to Hampden is a first for me,” said the 55-year-old who will take charge of his country for the 124th time this evening.

“Neither as a player or a coach have I been fortunate enough to be there before. I’m looking forward to it, to the unique atmosphere, pride and passion of not just the Scottish players but their public.” (The Scotsman)

Porto lead campaign for refugee donations

PORTO have called on clubs competing in the Champions League to donate money to charities aiding the ongoing refugee crisis.

The Portuguese club are keen for Europe’s top sides to donate cash from ticket sales to the on-going refugee crisis. The club have proposed that €1 from every ticket sold for the opening two matches in the competition should be given to those fleeing war-torn countries.

Club president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Casto wrote to UEFA President Michel Platini, saying it was ‘impossible to close our eyes to the drama of the migrants and refugees’. (Various)