To paraphrase Alan Partridge, Sunday night was a negative and now I need two positives. One to cancel out the negative and the other, well, to have a positive.
Positive Number 1 – Scotland showed their mental resilience on Sunday, fought back from a goal behind after a dreadful first half and Ché Adams showed the potential to be Scotland’s leading striker for years to come – the perfect mix of work-rate and technical ability.
Positive Number 2 – Steve Clarke’s men have the chance to end the international break on a high with a home game against familiar foes the Faroe Islands.
“Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing”
Having dropped points in Tel Aviv, a win at home to the Faroes is non-negotiable if Scotland are to have any ambition of winning the group or making the Playoff by finishing runner up.
Austria welcoming Denmark to Vienna is an opportunity for Scotland to gain points on one or both of our closest rivals should they draw.
Having said that, we must be respectful to the challenge the Faroes provide. This isn’t the team that rolled over to Scotland 6-0 at Celtic Park in Euro 2008 qualifying.
The Faroes are building on a successful Nations League campaign, winning promotion from League D last year. To get an insight into the challenge they’re bringing, I called up Kasper Neesgard of Færøsk fodbold for episode 3 of The Tartan Scarf Podcast which you can listen to below. The interview was recorded before the start of the international break.
Record v Faroe Islands
Played 9, Won 7, Drawn 2.
Scotland memories will rush back to the 2-2 draw of 2002 under Berti Vogts although we have won four consecutive games since, scoring 14 and conceding one since.
There is no doubt there will be changes in the line-up, coming off the back of two demanding games this week. Clarke is often keen to share the minutes among the travelling party.
I would love to see the focus going on Scotland’s attacking play, given our recent struggles to score and create from open play.
Ché Adams was very impressive on his debut so ideally he would lead the line, with support coming from the number 10 position and the wings. Scotland looked a different animal in the second half on Sunday after moving to a back four so expect to see that continue here.
If the game is comfortable in the second half expect to see players get a run-out including Greg Taylor and Kevin Nisbet.
It’s got to be a win. Any win really. Any Scotland fans expecting a goal avalanche will be disappointed, we under-estimate this Faroes side at our peril. This is a team that took the lead against Austria before slipping to a 3-1 loss on Sunday.
It won’t be easy but we should manage a comfortable victory.
Predicted Score – Scotland 2-0 Faroe Islands