‘We’ll score at least three, maybe five’ promise cocky Croats
Croatia boss Igor Stimac has insisted that his team are not taking Scotland lightly, despite pictures showing the team enjoying a boozy night out over the weekend. Striker Ivica Olic has stated that his team are expecting to score at least three goals in Zagreb, but former national boss Mirsolav Blazevic reckons it could be five.
Stimac added: “I know Gordon [Strachan] and am aware he has to beat someone to show how his approach makes sense - but it will not be Croatia”.
The Scots have endured a miserable time in World Cup qualifying, with comprehensive defeats away to Belgium and Serbia, a stuttering draw at home to Macedonia and losing twice to Wales despite taking the lead.
And the news that centre-half Gordon Greer faces a race against time to face the Croats added to Gordon Strachan’s injury problems late last night. Strachan is already without James Forrest and Scott Brown of Celtic, along with Lee Wallace, Danny Fox, Liam Bridcutt and Gary Caldwell, and Greer could join them on the sidelines if he fails to overcome a virus.
Wanyama edges closer to Arsenal switch
Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama has hinted that he fancies signing for Arsenal. Despite being linked with a host of sides in England including Manchester United, Stoke and Newcastle, the Kenyan international has reportedly told his mentor in Nairobi, Jean-Marie Abeels, that he is keen on Arsenal.
Abeels told the Daily Mail that the midfielder’s father Noah has been in touch to tell the Belgian coach ‘Arsenal’s interest is big.’
Although Newcastle are reportedly lining up a £10 million move for the 22-year-old should mdifielder Cheick Tiote move on, the Kenyan looks to have already decided on London - despite claiming a couple of months ago that he was happy at Celtic, who do not need to cash in on any of their prized assets thanks to their European exploits last season and the league and cup double.
Meanwhile, reported Celtic target Yannick Sagbo has announced that he is quitting French side Evian. The Ivorian striker, who has been watched by Lennon, is said to be worth around £2 million.
Scott Brown told to rest for four weeks
Celtic captain Scott Brown has been told to take it easy for a month or so after suffering a post-Cup Final reaction - making him a doubt for Celtic’s first European match in mid-July. Brown and his Celtic team-mates are due back on June 20th, but the former Hibs midfielder will have to wait until the start of July before resuming training. Spotted limping during the Scottish Cup Final win over his former club, Brown appears to have paid the price for engineering a comeback at the end of the season. The Hoops skipper returned ahead of schedule at the tail end of the season in order to make the Hampden showpiece, but will be assessed before taking part in any training in July.
• Aberdeen are set to sign free agent Barry Robson. The former Dundee United, Celtic and Middlesbrough midfielder was most recently playing in America and will join on a 12-month deal
• St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas will find out this week if he will succeed Kenny Jackett as manager of Millwall
• Bill Colvin has vowed to return to the Dundee board - and has offered to give John Brown money from his own pocket for players
• Former Hibs player Jackie McNamara Snr has urged the Easter Road side to go all out to ensure they sign Leigh Griffiths permanently
• Ally McCoist is keen for Rangers legend John Greig to be offered a role at Ibrox, following the return of Walter Smith
• Celtic and Liverpool are set to meet for a glamour friendly in Dublin on August 10th, at the city’s Aviva Stadium, after the Parkhead side opted out of the second round of SPL matches