Scotland v Slovakia

Scotland’s hopes of World Cup qualification will come down to their final two matches, the first of which is against Slovakia at Hampden Park on Thursday.

The Scots currently sit fourth in Group F, which England lead by a five-point margin. But with second-placed Slovakia on 15 points, and Slovenia and Scotland just behind with 14 points each, the play-off spot is up for grabs.

Scotland are on a good run of form at the moment with three wins and a draw from their last four qualification matches after losing 3-0 to both England and Slovakia late last year. However, that thrashing away in Trnava does not bode well for their chances in Glasgow.

The Slovakians, meanwhile, were on a five-match winning streak in qualifiers before last month’s trip to England and subsequent 2-1 loss at Wembley, which weakened their grip on second place.

In team news, Scotland will be without Celtic duo Scott Brown (hamstring) and Stuart Armstrong (calf), but their club teammate Callum McGregor has been called up as a replacement. Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie is also unavailable, having pulled out of the squad as a precaution.

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