Scotland prepare for their weekend World Cup qualifier against Slovenia by taking on Canada on Wednesday evening.
Scotland haven’t managed to reach a major international tournament since their appearance in the 1998 World Cup and going on recent form we feel that it is unlikely that they will end their exile any time soon. As things stand they sit second bottom of their 2018 World Cup qualifying group with just minnows Malta below them and the Scots face a tricky test when they come up against second-placed Slovenia on Sunday afternoon.
Scotland’s recent results have been pretty miserable with their sole victory being a 5-1 hammering of tiny Malta in September. Since then they have managed just a solitary point from their subsequent three qualifiers with their last two outings ending in 3-0 defeats.
Indeed the Scots looked to be very much on the up when Gordon Strachan took charge four years ago and they returned some decent performances after a slow start. They put themselves in an excellent position to qualify for the 2016 European Championships however they once again slipped up and a defeat in Georgia ended their hopes of reaching their first international tournament in eighteen years.
With Strachan’s men winning just once in their last six outings, they desperately need a morale-boosting victory and Strachan will be focusing on the clash with Slovenia on Sunday evening.
“We must win that game,” Strachan said to reporters. “There is no getting away from that fact but we are looking forward to that challenge and I think the fans will be looking forward to that challenge, going to a game that you must win. So together we can make it a right good night. The fans have always given us support but we really need it that night. The guys will be prepared, the fans will be prepared and we are looking to put in a right good performance.”
They must first face Canada on Wednesday evening at Easter Road and one can only hope that the home side can stop the rot, although it must be said that Scotland aren’t too shabby in front of their own home fans, especially when up against inferior teams and the Canadians certainly fall into this category. The visitors are perhaps the best they have been for several years but they have managed no wins in their last five games away from home and we expect the Scots to prove too strong for them.
Looking at goalscorers we don’t expect any from the Canadian camp but Jordan Rhodes should feature for the Scots. Rhodes has been unable to secure for himself a regular place in the starting eleven but he will be back amongst the fold on Wednesday evening and we expect him to repay Strachan for his inclusion by finding the net at some point.