Scotland v Armenia: Role for Celtic and Rangers duo? Is this Steve Clarke's team for crucial World Cup play-off?
Scotland are back at Hampden again and Steve Clarke tasked with picking up the nation after the disappointment of World Cup qualification hopes ending last week.
Potentially, a place at Euro 2024 is Germany is at the end of this campaign with Clarke’s team grouped with Armenia, weekend opponents Republic of Ireland and Ukraine again in the section. The Nations League and play-off route is how Scotland reached Euro 2020 so getting off on the right foot is vital against the 92nd ranked team in the world.
There is a warning too though – Armenia saw off Stephen Kenny’s team last week and sit top of the table at this early stage.
Steve Clarke added Lyndon Dykes to players he won’t be able to call upon for this and the two fixtures to follow – but the boss has suggested he will use various elements within his squad for the coming games. Nathan patterson still has a question-mark over his fitness while a tough short-term schedule after a long season for some may come into the manager’s thinking.
Armenia at home, albeit with the warning, should be the most winnable game of the group on paper – so who will the manager pick?
There’s every chance he will field a strong line-up to start and, with the aim of establishing an early lead, supplement the side with substitutions to spare energy for the forthcoming games in Dublin and then Yerevan next Tuesday.
Here’s how he could line-up – but will the manager spring a surprise after pitching Aaron Hickey into the World Cup mix last week?