There are two group games left and three points will guarantee second place for Steve Clarke’s side, who face Moldova in Chisinau on Friday evening.
Undefeated group winners Denmark follow at Hampden on Monday but by then it could all be academic, such is the seismic status of the match in Moldova – here’s what you need to know, and when you should be watching.
Who: Moldova v Scotland
What: FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers – UEFA group F
Where: Zimbru Stadium, Chisinau
When: 5pm, Friday, November 12, 2021
Referee: Srdjan Jovanović (Serbia)
How to watch
The match will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event (ch.401) and on the Football channel (ch. 403). Coverage begins at 4.30pm.That means the game is also available to stream online via NOW TV or the Sky Go app.
BBC Sportscene will also show highlights at 11.25pm on BBC One Scotland and iPlayer.
Where are Scotland in the qualifying group table?
Denmark Played – 8; Won 8; Drawn 0; Lost 0; Goals 27; Against 0; Points 24 Scotland Played – 8; Won 5; Drawn 2; Lost 1; Goals 13; Against 7; Points 17 Israel Played – 8; Won 4; Drawn 1; Lost 3; Goals 18; Against 15; Points 13 Austria Played – 8; Won 3; Drawn 1; Lost 4; Goals 11; Against 14; Points 10 Faroe Is Played – 8; Won 1; Drawn 1; Lost 6; Goals 4; Against 17; Points 4 Moldova Played – 8; Won 0; Drawn 1; Lost 7; Goals 4; Against 24; Points 1
Why does it matter?
Scotland are four points ahead of Israel with a potential six remaining from the final two fixtures. A win, or even matching Israel’s result in Austria, will secure second place and entry to the play-offs again.
The play-offs will be six semi-finals and then three finals involving the group runners up plus the two highest ranked sides in the Nations League not already qualified.
Who will be picked?
Grant Hanley definitely won’t as he’s injured, and neither will Lyndon Dykes because he’s suspended. Here’s a look at one predicted line-up Steve Clarke could opt for.
What were the scores when Scotland played Moldova before?
The first ever meeting was in Chisinau in 2004 which ended in a 1-1 draw where Steven Thompson was on target. That was the beginning of the end for Berti Vogts and under Walter Smith subsequently, two goals saw them off at Hampden.
Earlier this year Nathan Patterson and Lyndon Dykes combined for the winner at the National Stadium.
Moldova might bring a shudder from the Tartan Army given previous there under Berti Vogts but that’s not the only uncomfortable reminder on Friday evening. Referee Srdjan Jovanović has taken charge of a Scotland game before… the 3-0 thumping in Kazakhstan. Sorry.
But on the bright side it’s the one year anniversary of THAT night in Belgrade and David Marshall’s penalty save against Aleksandr Mitrovic.
First Scorer: John McGinn 9/1; David Turnbull 11/2; Che Adams 15/4(Bet365)