With Group D of Euro 2016 qualifying looking likely to right down to the wire, there is little margin for error for Scotland as they travel to Georgia looking for a vital three points.
Gordon Strachan’s side undoubtedly emerged the happier following their draw with the Republic of Ireland back in June, as it was a result which kept them two points ahead of the side with which they are vying fiercely for a place in the top three. There is still hope of a place in the top two and thus automatic qualification – the teams who occupy those spots, Germany and Poland, are playing each other.
The Tartan Army are certainly a much tougher side to play against than in years gone by, with a five-game unbeaten run putting them in a strong position to qualify for a first major tournament since 1998. Their squad is also strong and should in theory have too much for Georgia, who they defeated 1-0 at Hampden Park a year ago. To highlight that, Charlie Adam, Darren Fletcher, Ikechi Anya and James McArthur were among the names deemed only worthy of a place on the bench against the Irish.
In contrast to their visitors, Georgia will be disappointed with the way their campaign has gone, with their only three points coming in easy 3-0 success over minnows Gibraltar. In the past Tbilisi has been an extremely tough place to go, as Scotland found out to their cost back in 2007, but the late defeat to Ireland on match day one seems to have had a detrimental effect. Tornike Okriashvili – who scored that day – provides their biggest attacking threat.
Midfielder Stuart Armstrong and defender Christoph Berra have both withdrawn from the Scotland squad after picking up injuries for their club sides. However, Russell Martin along with captain Scott Brown should be fit despite missing training on Monday.
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