Strachan Names Squad for Georgia as Scots Aim to Avenge 2007 Humbling

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan revealed his 24-man squad earlier today ahead their crucial Euro 2016 qualification double header against Georgia in Tbilisi on September 4, and Germany in Glasgow three days later.

The headline inclusion in Strachan's largely settled pool was Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong, with the uncapped 23-year-old replacing, among others, Stoke City's Charlie Adam.

The Scots sit third in the group on 11 points, which at present would be sufficient for a play-off place and although they are ranked more than 100 places above Georgia in the FIFA world rankings, recent history will remind Strachan's men that taking points from Tbilisi cannot be taken for granted.

In October 2007, in very similar circumstances with Scotland well placed for qualification and Georgia out of contention, the Scots were beaten 2-0 in Tbilisi, thanks to goals from Levan Mchedlidze and David Siradze.

Three of the current Scotland squad started that night at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena - goalkeeper Craig Gordon, midfielder Darren Fletcher and forward Shaun Maloney - while many of the 2,000 Scottish fans expected in Tbilisi next week will also be making a return to the scene of the crime eight years on hoping to avenge that costly evening.

Strachan admitted at today's press conference that he expects a tough game in Tbilisi and had been impressed with Georgia's performance in June's 4-0 defeat to Poland where the Georgians trailed by one until the 89th minute.

Georgia's squad was due to be announced last week but is yet to be released. There has been strong speculation that veteran defender Zurab Khizanishvili, formerly of Scottish clubs Dundee and Rangers, will make a return to the national setup following a strong start to the season with Inter Baku in Azerbaijan.

Scotland squad:

Goalkeepers - Craig Gordon (Celtic), David Marshall (Cardiff City), Allan McGregor (Hull City)

Defenders - Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town), Craig Forsyth (Derby County), Gordon Greer (Brighton & Hove Albion), Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic), Andrew Robertson (Hull City), Steven Whittaker (Norwich City).

Midfielders - Ikechi Anya (Watford), Stuart Armstrong (Celtic), Scott Brown (Celtic), Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion), James Forrest (Celtic), Shaun Maloney (Chicago Fire), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), James McArthur (Crystal Palace), Matt Ritchie (AFC Bournemouth)

Forwards - Johnny Russell (Derby County), Steven Fletcher (Sunderland), Leigh Griffiths (Celtic), Chris Martin (Derby County), Steven Naismith (Everton).

Alastair Watt

24 August 2015 17:11