Scotland vs Kazakhstan will take place tonight in one of the most meaningless games in Euro 2012 qualifying at face value.
Neither side can now qualify for the tournament via the automatic places, with Belgium and Russia having sewn up first and second respectively. However, a win for Steve Clarke’s side will move Scotland into third place in the group and consolidate a fairly solid ending to the campaign.
Clarke will want to build some momentum ahead of March’s vital Nations League playoffs matches. Scotland could end up qualifying for their first major tournament in what will be 22 years when the Euros come around.
So you would expect a strong team tonight in a bid to generate momentum for those playoff games. The likes of Callum McGregor, Greg Taylor, Ryan Christie, and James Forrest should all hopefully be part of the team.
But whilst momentum will be firmly on their minds, they can actually end a frustrating international hoodoo this evening as well.
Should Scotland manage to beat Kazakhstan tonight, they will end a three-year wait for three consecutive wins. The last time they managed to do that was under Gordon Strachan back in 2016. Those successes came against Lithuania, Malta, and Slovakia respectively.
A shambolic record that needs broken
Since then, the Scots have played 20 international matches without repeating the feat. So the Scottish Bhoys certainly have a bit of pride to play for tonight. Granted, the stat itself is more of a damning indictment of how Scotland have performed in recent years.
With the current squad of players that Clarke has at his disposal, all four Celtic stars should hopefully be in the starting line-up. After all, they are a part of this current squad’s strongest XI, and Clarke can’t afford too many setbacks.
It would also provide them with a spring in their step ahead of the crucial festive schedule ahead with the Champions. Celtic have a colossal amount of fixtures coming up both domestically and in Europe. The more international successes we have, the better.
All four players will want to consolidate their place in the team for March’s crucial playoff matches too. There’s a lot more at state tonight than just three points.
So hopefully Scotland get the job done tonight. Then again, so long as no injuries are picked up, that’s all Neil Lennon will be too concerned about.