Scotland welcome Ukraine to Hampden Park, Glasgow, in a top of UEFA Nations League B1 showdown.
Victory would see Scotland leapfrog Ukraine to the summit of their group, whereas at least a draw would see Ukraine stay top heading into the final two rounds of group matches.
Robby McCrorie has been recalled by Scotland after his fellow Rangers teammate, Jon McLaughlin withdrew due to injury.
Grant Hanley (shoulder) and Jacob Brown (unspecified) have also been withdrawn from the squad, whilst left-back, Andrew Robertson is ruled out with a knee injury.
Ukraine will be without the following four players who have withdrawn from the squad due to injury: Heorhiy BuschanMykola Shaparenko (both knee), Eduard Sobol (adductor) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (calf).
- Scotland have won just one of three previous meetings against Ukraine in all competitions (W1, L2).
- Ukraine have won just one of two previous visits to Scotland in all competitions (W1, L1).
- Each of the two previous clashes between Scotland and Ukraine at Hampden Park have finished 3-1, with both teams winning one match apiece.
- Four of Scotland’s six goals in this UEFA Nations League group have been scored before half-time.
- All five of Ukraine’s goals in this UEFA Nations League group were scored after half-time.
Having failed to deliver in their World Cup Play-Off semi-final against Ukraine, Scotland now have a chance to atone for their wasteful display in which they lacked final touch plus were sloppy defensively and in goalkeeper positioning.
Ukraine though are dangerous on the counter-attack especially when allowed to hit maximum pace plus press and movement, yet can struggle to covert shots into goals if not allowed time to accurately deliver shots onto goal.
Steve Clarke’s Tartan Army therefore have to learn from that experience and try to apply high intensity throughout in their defensive press to limit Ukraine, whilst improving their own finishing when on the attack which will be key to getting a result.
Now if they can make that step forward and the home crowd are at full volume as the 12th man, Scotland really should look for a draw or win but I just can’t see this being an easy game especially if Ukraine continue to score in second-half as they’ve done in all of their group matches so far.
Prediction: Scotland 1-1 Ukraine
Result: Scotland 3-0 Ukraine