Scotland face Denmark tomorrow night in the final game of their World Cup qualifying group and Steve Clarke should hand surprise starts to two late additions to the squad fo the Hampden clash.
While Scotland’s path to Qatar isn’t quite clear, Clarke’s side are now three games away from qualifing for a World Cup for the first time since 1998 – but with so many players walking a suspension tightrope, Clarke needs to make use of some of his fringe players
Two of those were only added to the squad after the initial list was confirmed – Anthony Ralston and John Souttar – and both should be handed a starting berth at Hampden tomorrow against the group winners.
Both Ralston and Souttar have been in fantastic form for their clubs so far this season and merit their place in the squad – even if it came as the result of enforced withdrawals.
Having the likes of Stephen O’Donnell, Jack Hendry and Scott McTominay a yellow card away from missing the semi-final means it makes a lot of sense for Clarke to try and minimise the risk of losing them for the March fixture.
The fact that both are also likely to be in and around the side for years to come means it is the perfect time for Clarke to throw them into the side for tomorrow’s Hampden sell-out.
Neither are rookies are have enough experience at club level to cope with any pressure they’ll face tomorrow at Hampden – while it also gives Clarke a chance to look at both of them within his preferred system in a competitive environment.
The likelihood is though, Clarke will stick with the guys who have helped get Scotland to this point of the campaign as they look to get over the line and secure a seeded place in the semi-final draw for the playoffs.
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