Kazakhstan manager Michal Bilek knows one thing about Scotland prior to tonight’s clash in Astana: they are a lot better than they were the night they left a stain on the beautiful game.
Bilek was in charge of Czech Republic on the notorious evening in October 2010 when current Hearts manager Craig Levein sent Scotland out without a striker for a Euro 2012 qualifier in Prague.
The Scots fell to a 1-0 defeat and did not have shot on target the whole game. Bilek described the tactics employed that night as “unpleasant”.
Levein has since lamented the numbers 4, 6 and 0 will be inscribed on his tombstone.
In the return game at Hampden Park, Scotland were unlucky not to win after the Czechs pulled level to 2-2 following a controversial penalty award.
“I remember the matches,” said Bilek. “The first game we won 1-0 at home and away it was a 2-2 draw. I think that the Scottish team has got better since then.
“The current Scottish team is much better than the previous one in 2010,” he added.
“Because in the current team there are a lot of very fast players, especially the wingers, and they deliver the ball very quickly to the offensive players and they play a very fast game. They are much better.”
Scotland are not exactly spoilt for choice in the forward area due to injury and Leigh Griffiths’ unavailability. But current manager Alex McLeish is certain to play a striker tonight in Astana.