Arthur Numan has warned that Scotland must nullify the threat of Stanislav Lobotka if they hope to keep their World Cup dream alive at Hampden tomorrow night.
Lobotka makes Slovakia tick, according to the former Rangers defender, who watched him at close quarters last month in his role as AZ Alkmaar’s chief scout.
The Celta Vigo midfielder sits just in front of the back four and works well with Napoli dangerman Marek Hamsik and also has great vision to feed the wide players.
Numan says Scotland must cut off his supply and if they succeed they have the ability to get the result they want to take the campaign to the last qualifier in Slovenia on Sunday.
Numan said: “I saw Slovakia beat Slovenia 1-0 last month and the best player on the park was Stanislav Lobotka.
“He is quite small but with the ball he is very good.
“I know him a little bit because he was with Ajax when he was younger but he never made it and went to Denmark to sign for Nordsjaelland.
“I could see he was improving there and then he got a move to Celta Vigo in the summer and when I saw him last month I was really impressed.
“He turns away from opponents very well and can pick passes for the strikers and the wide players.
“He also has a good understanding with Marek Hamsik. They seem to link very well together.
“So Scotland need to stop Lobotka from supplying the wingers, while, of course, trying to attack them.
“Lobotka scored in the next game against England although they went on to lose that game.
“They played in a 4-2-1-3 system with Hamsik playing ahead of Lobotka.
“Then they had Vladimir Weiss on the left, Adam Nemec through the middle and Robert Mak on the right. Nemec has a lot of experience and he is good in the air so Scotland will have to keep him quiet.
“I was also impressed with Albert Rusnack, who came on in the second half against Slovenia and looked a threat and always wanted to create.”
Numan feels Scotland can complete the job. He added: “I think if Scotland impose themselves on Slovakia and stop them from getting space they can get a result against them.
“They need to win the game so hopefully with a good Hampden crowd behind them they can do it.”