Scotland vs Germany – Match preview and team news

After the major disappointment of losing away to Georgia on Friday, Scotland now face the biggest test of all as they host Group D leaders and world champions Germany.

The toothless attacking display and eventually agonising defeat in Tbilisi has the potential to be hugely damaging to the Tartan Army’s chances of making it to Euro 2016, as they have now slipped behind the Republic of Ireland in the race for a place in the top three. An automatic qualification spot now looks very slim, and it appears they now need to win at least two of their remaining three games to have a shot at the play-offs.

Encouragement for the Scots will come in the shape of their excellent performance when they went to Germany for the reverse fixture a year ago, as only a Thomas Muller double handed Joachim Low’s side the narrowest of victories. If the likes of Ikechi Anya and Steven Naismith can reproduce their efforts of that evening in Dortmund, they may sense a chance of causing a surprise here.

Germany have not always convinced during this qualifying campaign, perhaps due to the disruption caused by key players such as Philipp Lahm and Per Mertesacker calling time on their international careers. However, they produced their best performance so far on Friday to beat Poland and return to the top of the group; Mario Gotze grabbing a brace after the ever reliable Muller had put them in front. Three points here will give them an outside chance of booking their place at the finals.

Gordon Strachan can normally rely on his team to be resilient against the toughest opposition, but he will be determined to a see a cutting edge in attack, a feature of their game which was badly missing in Georgia. He could decide to make changes for this one, with James McArthur, Matt Ritchie and Leigh Griffiths among those pushing for a start.

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