Scotland predicted XI vs Spain: one major change as Arsenal and Rangers players withdraw from squad
The Tartan Army will be hoping that Steve Clarke’s men can secure their spot at Euro 2024 on Thursday night
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Scotland are on the brink. Once upon a time that kind of assertion might have been enough to soundly depress the Tartan Army, but these days, the only thing Steve Clarke’s men are verging on is success. Improbably, after five matches, they sit top of their Euro 2024 qualifying group with maximum points, and know that anything but defeat against Spain on Thursday night will be enough to ensure passage to next summer’s tournament in Germany.
Last time the two nations met, back in March, Scotland produced an all-time great performance to secure a famous win at Hampden Park. Scott McTominay was at the double to seal a 2-0 victory that set the tone for a qualification campaign that has been nothing short of exemplary; Clarke’s side have not only taken 15 points from the 15 available, but they have only conceded one goal in the process.
A 3-1 defeat at the hands of England in their most recent outing was something of a sobering blow, but Scotland will travel to the Estadio de la Cartuja in Sevilla confident that they can deliver against a Spanish side who themselves have won three out of their first four qualifying fixtures.
Scotland Team News
As far as injuries go, Scotland have two main concerns to deal with. The most notable, perhaps, is Kieran Tierney, who now plays his football in Spain with Real Sociedad, and who has been forced to withdraw from Clarke’s squad as a result of an ongoing hamstring injury. The defender is a key figure at international level, and has started each of Scotland’s last seven matches.
Elsewhere, Ryan Jack has been ruled out of Thursday’s clash too. The 31-year-old has been unavailable for Rangers’ past two outings having been withdrawn at half-time during the recent 3-1 defeat to Aberdeen, and will not recover in time to feature in Spain this week. Millwall striker Kevin Nisbet is also set to be absent.
Otherwise, Scotland boast a clean bill of health, and will be hoping that the likes of Scott McTominay - who was so impactful in the reverse fixture and who heads into midweek off the back of his match-winning heroics for Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon - can make the difference in a highly-anticipated showdown.
Full Scotland Predicted XI
Angus Gunn; Ryan Porteous, Jack Hendry, Liam Cooper; Aaron Hickey, Billy Gilmour, Callum McGregor, Andy Robertson; Scott McTominay, John McGinn; Che Adams.
Spain Team News
Perhaps the most disappointing team news from an injury perspective as far as Spain are concerned involves Barcelona prodigy Lamine Yamal, who has withdrawn from the national team squad due to a hip injury. The 16-year-old became his country’s youngest-ever debutant and goalscorer in last month’s win over Georgia.
Elsewhere Villarreal winger Yeremy Pino is out with a hamstring problem, while Dani Olmo, Pedri, Marco Asensio, and Jose Gaya are all set to miss out too.
Full Spain Predicted XI
Unai Simon; Dani Carvajal, Robin Le Normand, Aymeric Laporte, Alejandro Balde; Mikel Merino, Rodri, Gavi; Ferran Torres, Alvaro Morata, Nico Williams.