Scotland manager Steve Clarke has criticised the FIFA rules that have left him without Nathan Patterson for Monday’s final World Cup qualifier against Denmark at Hampden – however eight of Clarke’s players will be walking a disciplinary tightrope tomorrow.
With Scotland in one of the few six-team groups in European qualifying for next year’s World Cup, Clarke’s players face two games more than others, increasing the chance of them picking up a ban for earning two bookings.
Clarke’s side already know they face at least one more game after securing a spot in March’s playoff semi-finals and with so many key players on the brink of a booking Clarke may choose to rest them against the Danes.
Lyndon Dykes and Ryan Christie both missed out through suspension on Friday night against Moldova while Nathan Patterson’s booking in Chisinau means the Rangers defender will be suspended against Denmark – Celtic’s Tony Ralston added to the squad as his replacement.
However, it won’t be as easy as just leaving as many of them as possible out tomorrow with Scotland needing to match Wales’ result to ensure they are seeded for the playoff semi-finals.
That would mean Clarke’s face a one-off clash at Hampden early next year and they simply can’t afford to be missing a number of key players if the Tartan Army are to be off to Qatar next winter.
The eight Scotland players one booking away from a playoff ban are:
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