Scotland begins its Euro 2024 qualifying campaign against Cyprus Saturday at Hampden Park.
While Spain will be the visitors of the national stadium next Tuesday evening, Norway and Georgia are also in the section.
Here, the PA news agency covers the main topics discussed ahead of the Group A opening game in Glasgow.
Clarke’s new deal offers timely support
Scotland announced on Friday that it has reached an agreement to extend Clarke’s term as boss until 2026.
The news came just before the press conference he held in Hampden Park ahead of the opening match of the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Cyprus and Spain at the national stadium.
The new 59-year deal will run until after the 2026 World Cup campaign and it definitely has a loan in the bank.
The former Reading, West Brom and Kilmarnock manager has led Scotland to promote Scotland to the Nations League Group A after they moved his country to Euro 2020, the men’s national team’s first qualifying round in over 20 years. But expectations will be high for this campaign after losing in a playoff to go to the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.
Which player will make his debut in the goal?
Scotland’s number one goalkeeper Craig Gordon He recovers from a double-leg fracture that left Clarke in a dilemma.
The Scotland boss has to choose between three free goalkeepers: Zander Clark, who replaces Gordon at Tynecastle, Motherwell number one Liam Kelly and Angus GunnSon of former Scottish defender Bryan Gunn.
The Canary goalkeeper brought his England under-21s level to the under-21 level and expressed how proud he would be to hear the national anthem at Hampden Park.
Clarke, however, was keeping his cards close to his chest on Friday afternoon and said that although all three men performed well in practice, he had yet to make a decision.
History on the Scottish side
Seemingly, bottom seed Cyprus’ visit to Hampden Park gives Scotland a chance to jump-start their campaign.
Temur Ketsbaia’s team is ranked 110th in the world, the home team is 45th, and the Scots have won all seven matches since the first clash in 1968.
However, at the final meeting at Hampden Park in June 2019 – Clarke’s debut as national team principal – it took Oliver Burke’s last breath to give Scotland a win.
The last four matches have ended 2-1 against the Scots, who will have to work hard to get the three points ahead of next Tuesday evening’s visit to Spain.
Landmark appearance for McGregor
Celtic captain Callum McGregor will earn his 50th cap if, as expected, he is selected to play against Cyprus.
McGregor has been a mainstay of the Hoops and Scotland midfield for several seasons, but he has growing experience with him.
John McGinnTop scorer with 15 goals, 52 appearances, Kenny McLean played 28 games, Scott McTominay 37 and Stuart Armstrong 40, Billy Gilmour (16) and Ryan Jack (14) are not rookies.
Ever since he took over four years ago, Clarke has been looking forward to the day when his team is full of experience and the midfielder is definitely getting it.