Russia v ScotlandBBC Radio Scotland FM4,3744,374viewing this pagePick your XIRelated Video and AudioComing upPlay video Russia v Scotland – HighlightsRussia v Scotland – HighlightsGot a TV Licence?You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.Find out moreLive ReportingBy Colin MoffatAll times stated are UKPosted…
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Play video Russia v Scotland – Highlights
James Forrest was the hero of Scotland’s Nations League campaign, scoring a hat-trick in the home win over Israel and a double in the away success against Albania.
The 28-year-old Celtic winger has yet to find the net in this qualifying campaign and now finds himself on the bench for the second game running.
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Barring a win tonight, followed by a complete Russian collapse in remaining fixtures, Scotland’s qualification hopes will rest on the play-offs, with a semi-final place already secured via the Nations League.
Scotland will be at home in that first game in March, with Norway or Serbia the teams currently projected to meet in the other semi.
Bulgaria, Israel or Hungary are the teams in line to face Scotland at the moment but that can change and Uefa will be keen to keep Euro 2020 host countries apart, so that would rule out the Hungarians.
The draw to decide who would be at home in the
final will take place on 22 November.
Scotland boss Steve Clarke replaced Alex McLeish two games into the campaign and started with a win over Cyprus. Since then, he has lost twice to group leaders Belgium, either side of that September defeat at home to Russia.
A tough run of fixtures that isn’t getting any easier tonight.
Scotland have not lost four in a row since April 2004 under Berti
It was just over a month ago when Russia visited Hampden. Scotland started brightly and led through John McGinn’s 10th-minute strike following a fumble from goalkeeper Guilherme.
However, the early goal appeared to spook Scotland and Russia levelled through imposing captain Artem Dzyuba before half time. It was pretty much one-way traffic in the second half with the visitors dominating and their superiority was rewarded with Stephen O’Donnell’s own goal.
Scotland could not respond and fell to a first competitive home defeat since then-world champions Germany triumphed 3-2 four years ago.
Former Scotland striker on Sportsound
Quote Message: Of course we want the boys to do well, but I’m really worried for Mikey Devlin. He’s not been playing games. Charlie Mulgrew’s not defended well in the last few games, Andy Robertson hasn’t either and Liam Palmer had a nightmare in Kazakhstan. So, why would you not be worried?
Of course we want the boys to do well, but I’m really worried for Mikey Devlin. He’s not been playing games. Charlie Mulgrew’s not defended well in the last few games, Andy Robertson hasn’t either and Liam Palmer had a nightmare in Kazakhstan. So, why would you not be worried?
Russia: Guilherme, Fernandes, Semenov, Dzhikija, Kudryashov,
Ozdoev, Barinov, Zhirkov, Ionov, Dzyuba, Golovin.
Petrov, Chistyakov, Lunev, Ignatiev, Kuzyaev, Bakaev, Cheryshev,
Komlichenko, Belyaev, Karavaev, Akhmetov.
Scotland:Marshall, Palmer, Mulgrew, Devlin, Robertson, Fleck, McGregor, McGinn, Snodgrass, Burke, Fraser.
Subs:Russell, MacGillivray, Shankland, Forrest, Christie, O’Donnell, McLaughlin, Taylor, Armstrong, Gallagher, Findlay.
Scotland and Russia share a patron saint in Andrew the Apostle and the Russian Football Union have been putting on some Scottish themed entertainment before kick off.
The pre-match programme of events for ‘Our Boys in the City’ include meeting knights of the King James era, trying on kilts, bagpipe lessons and mountaineering competitions.
Just like home, eh?
Former Scotland defender on BBC Radio Scotland
Quote Message: I don’t think we’re in a position where we can experiment. If I were Steven O’Donnell, I’d be wanting to play tonight. He’s been left out to give Palmer the opportunity.
I don’t think we’re in a position where we can experiment. If I were Steven O’Donnell, I’d be wanting to play tonight. He’s been left out to give Palmer the opportunity.
Mikey Devlin has made just four league starts for Aberdeen this season, which highlights how thin things are in central defence.
Liam Cooper and Grant Hanley pulled out of this squad with injuries, while John Souttar is crocked long-term. Scott McKenna only returned to the Aberdeen side at the weekend and David Bates is not in the picture at Sheffield Wednesday.
Uncapped pair Stuart Findlay and Declan Gallagher are on the bench in Moscow.
By the way, Souttar’s wee brother, Harry, scored earlier today on his Australia debut, so we can scratch him off the list of possibles for a problem area.
Former Scotland striker on Sportsound
Quote Message: I think it’s a sit back job, especially with the new boys in the back four. Make sure we’re nice and compact and then see what we can get through the midfielders. Our best opportunity tonight is to be nice and compact, and counter.
I think it’s a sit back job, especially with the new boys in the back four. Make sure we’re nice and compact and then see what we can get through the midfielders. Our best opportunity tonight is to be nice and compact, and counter.
The most popular team in our BBC squad selector is pretty different from Steve Clarke’s chosen XI.
More than 19,000 took part and more than 50% of you wanted uncapped Lawrence Shankland to get a chance. The Dundee United striker has scored 15 goals in 13 appearances for the Scottish Championship leaders.
No place for Celtic duo James Forrest and Ryan Christie either.
There’s already been a game in Group I today, with Cyprus coming from behind to win 2-1 in Kazakhstan.
That moves the Cypriots up to third and really hammers home how damaging that 3-0 opening defeat in Astana has been for Scotland.
I guess it’s better than a Kazakhstan victory from the perspective of Scotland chasing third place. Scotland travel to Cyprus for the penultimate game of this campaign on 16 November.
Russia make one change to the side that won at Hampden, with Dmitri Barinov in for Roman Zobnin in central midfield.
Full line-ups to follow.
Steve Clarke hands international debuts to Aberdeen defender Mikey Devlin and Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck.
A second cap for Sheffield Wednesday full-back Liam Palmer.
Scotland XI: Marshall, Palmer, Devlin, Mulgrew, Robertson, Fleck, McGregor, McGinn, Snodgrass, Fraser, Burke.
Welcome to the second Scotland v Russia sporting contest in 48 hours. A nation of five million up against a nation of 145 million…
Yesterday, the rugby lads ran administered a 61-0 drubbing at the World Cup in Japan. However, such a comprehensive victory for the national football side is unlikely.
The hosts can all but secure Euro 2020 qualification with victory in Moscow tonight and it would officially snuff out Scotland’s slim hopes of a top two place in Group I.
For Steve Clarke and his side this is about planning for the near future and restoring some battered pride.
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