Scotland host Slovakia in the UEFA Nations League on Sunday night at Hampden Park in Glasgow. The Scots will now look to carry momentum into one of their biggest games ever, as they face a UEFA EURO 2020 Playoff final against Serbia on the horizon.
Scotland beat Israel 5-3 on penalties at Hampden Park in midweek to set up their clash against Serbia, while Slovakia too won on penalties to set up a playoff final of their own. The Republic of Ireland were eliminated by Slovakia, who will face Northern Ireland in that playoff final.
For Scotland head coach Steve Clarke, the Nations League route is what has given them their potential pathway into EURO 2020, so it is likely that he will continue to take the competition seriously.
Scotland are current top of Group 2 in League B, with a draw against Israel last month followed by a win against Czech Republic. Slovakia have just a solitary point, having drawn against Israel, but they lost to the Czechs.
Scotland vs Slovakia Head-to-Head
Scotland and Slovakia have faced each other only twice in the past, with each team having won one game each.
The two meetings came in the qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, when Scotland were soundly beaten 3-0 in Slovakia, before they won 1-0 at Hampden Park.
Scotland vs Slovakia Team News
Steve Clarke will miss Kieran Tierney, who has had to self-isolate after coming into contact with Stuart Armstrong, who tested positive for COVID-19. Ryan Christie is also unavailable. Oli McBurnie is expected to continue to lead the line in attack.
Injured: Stuart Armstrong
Unavailable: Kieran Tierney, Ryan Christie
Slovakia have had a huge blow, with Inter Milan centre-back Milan Skriniar ruled out with COVID-19 concerns. Marek Hamsik continues to be the Slovaks' talisman, and will once again be the man they look up to, as a game-changer.
Injured: Milan Skriniar
Scotland vs Slovakia Predicted XI
Scotland predicted XI (4-1-3-2): David Marshall, Ryan Porteous, Declan Gallagher, Liam Cooper, Andrew Robertson, Scott McTominay, Callum McGregor, John McGinn, James Forrest, Lyndon Dykes, Oli McBurnie
Slovakia predicted XI (3-5-2): Marek Rodak; Peter Pekarik, Denis Vavro, Martin Valjent, Roberto Mazan; Juraj Kucka, Patrik Hrosovsky, Marek Hamsik; Robert Mak, Ondrej Duda, Lukas Haraslin
Scotland vs Slovakia Prediction
Slovakia have not had a win (within 90 minutes) in six of their last seven matches now. Scotland have got some momentum on their side, especially thanks to their home form, so we are predicting a narrow win for Steve Clarke's side in this game.
Prediction: Scotland 1-0 SlovakiaPublished 11 Oct 2020, 01:25 IST