Scotland Face Must-Win Qualifier Against Belarus

Whilst the mathematics of what will be enough to finish as the best top-six play-off places have yet to be decided, and we will only have a clear picture in September, it is clear is this is a game Scotland need to win.

The forensic examination of the Iceland defeat may still be continuing, but Scotland will look to put it behind them. Just a bad day at the office, instead of a performance of a bad team. The Scots still has an issue against the top tier of sides, but they have progressed in solving that.

A mark of it was Scotland were seconds away from beating Spain in a friendly back in March.

Will Anna Signeul Make Changes?

The simple answer is yes, but that’s because of the change of opposition and not of the Iceland game. If they were playing Iceland again on Tuesday, I would argue they kept the same starting lineup.

Photo: Tommy Hughes
Photo: Tommy Hughes

Against Iceland, they played two ‘defensive minded’ midfielders in Leanne Crichton and Rachel Corsie.

Signeul may bring in Liverpool’s Caroline Weir to play just off Jane Ross. She may look for more pace on the right wing as well with Hayley Lauder playing a more attacking role, but that would depend on the fitness of Emma Mitchell (who went off at half-time with a knee injury). Otherwise, her other options there would be Leanne Ross, Lizzie Arnot – or if she was being adventurous, Erin Cuthbert.

Belarus

Scotland’s opponents Belarus sit in fourth place in Group 1 with just three points, coming in a 2-0 win over Macedonia, the only goals they have scored in this campaign.

When Scotland played them at home, they romped to a 7-0 win although they had to wait until the 44th minute to score their first goal.

On that day, they played a similar attacking lineup to the Iceland game with Caroline Weir replacing Leanne Crichton the only change.

So that suggests that Weir might play, and in the Iceland post-match press conference, Signeul praised her improvement since joining Liverpool.

Belarus will be a team Scotland will believe they can beat, but like their previous away trips, they may have to be patient for the opening goal.

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