Watch Scotland vs Slovakia live on Sky Sports Main Event from 7.30pm or follow in our dedicated match blog on Sky Sports website and app; Watch in-game goals and free match highlights shortly after full-time
Friday 9 October 2020 18:48, UK
Team news and stats ahead of Scotland vs Slovakia in the Nations League live on Sky Sports (kick-off 7.45pm).
Steve Clarke’s Scotland side overcame the late disruption of player withdrawals to set up a Euro 2020 play-off final against Serbia next month after winning the national team’s first-ever penalty shootout following their first extra-time in almost five decades.
And with Hampden Park games to follow on Sunday against Slovakia and the Czechs three days later, Clarke hopes to ease the burden on his players.
The victory over Israel was tense and tight, with Scotland having the better of the scarce chances but Israel also enjoying some decent spells of possession.
However, David Marshall’s penalty stop from Eran Zahavi and Kenny McLean’s winning kick extended Scotland’s unbeaten run to six matches. There remains obvious room for improvement performance-wise, but Clarke knows results would help that gradual process.
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Scotland have added uncapped defenders Andy Considine and Paul McGinn to their squad for the Nations League double-header against Slovakia and Czech Republic.
The pair have been called up after national team manager Steve Clarke suffered six withdrawals in the build-up to Thursday’s Euro 2020 play-off semi-final penalty shootout win against Israel.
Considine, 33, is a former U21 international who has spent his entire club career with Aberdeen. Hibernian full-back McGinn, 29, joins his brother, Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn, in the squad.
Scotland Squad Update:
Andy Considine and Paul McGinn will join up with the squad for our UEFA #NationsLeague matches against Slovakia and Czech Republic. pic.twitter.com/6UVorbR7ta
Clarke’s initial 26-man selection was severely hit by coronavirus issues and injuries earlier in the week.
Kieran Tierney and Ryan Christie were both ordered to self-isolate after Stuart Armstrong tested positive for Covid-19, while forward Oliver Burke and defenders Scott McKenna and Liam Palmer all pulled out injured.
Slovakia have likewise been hard hit by coronavirus cases with Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar pulling out of the squad last week after a positive test.
Pavel Hapal is expected to rotate at Hampden Park following the penalty shootout victory over Republic of Ireland in the European Qualifying semi-final play-off.
Robert Mak and Lukas Haraslin are among those in contention to return to the starting XI after finding themselves on the bench in midweek.
How to follow
Scotland vs Slovakia will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event from 7.30pm; Kick-off at 7.45pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game goals in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
What the manager said
Scotland manager Steve Clarke: “We are going to have to come down, unwind a little bit. I am missing a few players through different circumstances, so we are going to have to have a look and get some players to join us to boost the squad.
“It was a big effort over 120 minutes for a lot of the players and it’s going to be almost impossible for them to play the next two games, a full 90 minutes.
“There is a little bit of thinking to do for the coaches and hopefully we come up with the right formation for the next two games.”
“We are trying to build something, and I think people maybe underestimate that a bit.
“We are trying to build and slowly, slowly you have to build character, you have to build confidence, you have to build quality. That will come. the more results you get, the better we will become.”
- Scotland and Slovakia’s only previous meetings were in 2018 World Cup qualifying, with both sides picking up a home victory.
- In the only previous meeting between Scotland and Slovakia at Hampden Park, the Scots won 1-0 with the winner an 89th minute own goal by defender Martin Skrtel.
- Scotland have won four of their six UEFA Nations League games (D1 L1), finding the net in all six matches, although they’ve only kept two clean sheets.
- Slovakia are yet to win away from home in the UEFA Nations League (D1 L2), while failing to score in two of their three games on the road (just one away goal in total).
- After losing four of their first five competitive games under Steve Clarke, Scotland have gone unbeaten in their last six competitive games (W4 D2).
- John McGinn has scored seven goals in his last seven starts across all competitions for Scotland, with all but one of those coming at Hampden Park.
- Scotland’s Ryan Christie has been directly involved in five goals in four UEFA Nations League appearances (2 goals, 3 assists), netting a penalty in his last two appearances.
- No Slovakian player has scored more than once in the UEFA Nations League, with their seven goals all scored by different players (Hamsik, Rusnak, Kucka, Zrelak, Mak, Schranz and Duris).
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