18th September 2018

EUROS SCOTLAND THE NOT SO BRAVE

SCOTLAND THE NOT SO BRAVE

8th October 2015

Scotland coach Gordon Strachan says he has a big decision to make over which striker to pick to play against Poland.

Steven Fletcher has been the preferred choice throughout the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, with his three Group D goals coming against Gibraltar.

Fletcher netted for Sunderland on Saturday and Leigh Griffiths, Chris Martin and Jordan Rhodes also scored for their clubs.

"Each of the strikers have different assets," said Strachan.

"But we don't have an all-round guy who has every one of these.

"Then you've got to say, 'what type of game should it be?' That's the kind of game you've got to try and envisage as a coach or coaches and pick the player or players that would suit that game.

"In saying that, we have a decision to make in midfield, where we've got good players."

Scotland can, at best, finish third in Group D and reach the play-offs. Losing to Poland would end their chances of reaching the finals.

If they draw, the Scots must hope Germany beat the Republic of Ireland to keep alive their hopes of a play-off place going into the final qualifier against Gibraltar in Portugal on Sunday. Scotland would also need the Irish to lose to Poland in this scenario.

Victory for Scotland over both Poland and Gibraltar and another defeat for the Poles against the Irish would allow the Scots to claim the play-off place with Martin O'Neill's side progressing automatically to the finals in France.

Strachan believes his side face a Poland team that have made a "terrific" improvement throughout the campaign.

Scotland beat the Poles 1-0 in a friendly in March 2014 and, a year ago, the two sides drew 2-2 in their first Group D encounter.

"They're definitely a better side and we've got better as well," Strachan explained.

"They've got better because they've improved as a group, but they also have some good players back in their side.'

That includes Robert lewandowski who has been in blistering form for his club and is leading scorer in the Bundeslega and he is also top scorer in the Euros with ten goals in eight games. One of the games he failed to score was the 2-2 draw with Scotland in Warsaw and Strachan's best hope is that they can keep him quiet again - but we wouldn't bet against it.

Backing Poland to win at 17/10 looks te safest option.

Joe Ross