Four talking points ahead of Hungary v Scotland

Will Scotland boss Alex McLeish continue to experiment? Picture: PA
Will Scotland boss Alex McLeish continue to experiment? Picture: PA
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Scotland face Hungary in a friendly in Budapest on Tuesday night.

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Alex McLeish is looking for the first victory of his second spell in charge of Scotland after suffering a 1-0 defeat by Costa Rica on Friday.

Here are the talking points ahead of the encounter in the Groupama Arena.

Three and out

Scotland released Grant Hanley, Scott McTominay and Matt Ritchie from their squad before flying out to Budapest. All three started at Hampden on Friday so McLeish will be forced to make major changes to his team whether he wanted to or not. The loss of Hanley leaves McLeish with only three recognised centre-backs with Jack Hendry possibly in line for a debut if he retains his three-man defence.

Experiment or build momentum?

Manchester United midfielder McTominay was one of five debutants on Friday, four of them starting, but Scotland were slow to get into the game. McLeish left several experienced players out of his squad in a bid to give younger players a chance to stake their claim, but he is mindful of the need to build momentum ahead of the UEFA Nations League campaign in the autumn. The Scotland boss has indicated he will have a more experienced line-up in Budapest.

System change

McLeish started with a 3-4-3 formation on Friday with Ritchie and Tom Cairney tucking in either side of centre-forward Oli McBurnie. The system worked better in the second half when Scotland pressed and got on the front foot more, and when wing-backs Callum Paterson and Andy Robertson, in particular, got forward. The Scotland boss will be looking for his players to get to grips with their roles from the start in Budapest.

Hungary for an impact

McLeish is not the only new manager aiming to impress. Former Belgium, Algeria and Tunisia George Leekens also suffered a debut defeat on Friday as his team lost 3-2 at home to Kazakhstan. Hungary are ranked 50th in the world, 18 places behind Scotland. Their recent friendlies include a victory over Costa Rica but also a defeat against Luxembourg.

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