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EC Qualification

  • October 12, 2010
  • • 20:00
  • • Hampden Park, Glasgow
  • Referee: M. Busacca
  • • Attendance: 51322

Euro 2012 Preview: Scotland - Spain

Euro 2012 Preview: Scotland - Spain

Still On Course For Second Spot

Much has been written about Scotland’s 4-6-0 formation in the defeat against the Czech Republic, but a glance at Group I sees them in second place with four points from three games.

A win over Spain, however unlikely that may seem, will see them top the group, yet should they draw, or lose and the Czech Republic beat Liechtenstein in the group’s other game on Tuesday they will go above Craig Levein’s men with six points.

World Champions Still On Top

Spain, meanwhile, will hope to maintain their perfect record in qualifying and make it three wins out of three after already beating Liechtenstein and Lithuania in their opening two games, bagging seven goals in the process.

Indeed the European champions’ record in qualifying is quite frightening. It has been three years since the Spanish dropped points in a qualifying match, back in September 2007 with a 1-1 draw in Iceland, a game in which Xabi Alonso was sent off after only 20 minutes.

History Repeating?

Yet Vicente del Bosque’s men will be wary of the Scots, who have shown a tendency to miss out on qualifying but claim some notable scalps along the way, particularly at Hampden Park.

The Netherlands were beaten 1-0 back in a Euro 2004 qualifying play-off, courtesy of a James McFadden goal, while in Euro 2008 qualifying the Scots were at it again, beating France home and away with two more narrow victories – a reminder of football’s great ability to surprise and results which will give the Scots hope.



Scotland have injury doubts over Alan Hutton, Gary Caldwell, Steven Whittaker and Graham Dorrans who all missed training on Sunday but are expected to be passed fit for the visit of the reigning world champions. Meanwhile, midfielder Darren Fletcher did train despite picking up a knock against the Czech Republic.

One man who will miss out is the suspended Barry Robson. However, Lee McCulloch rejoins the squad after serving a ban which saw him miss the defeat in Prague and may feature after Craig Levein admitted he will use a different game plan against Spain after coming under criticism for his 4-6-0 formation against the Czechs.

Possible starting XI: McGregor; Hutton, Weir, McManus, Whittaker; Dorrans, Caldwell, Fletcher, Morrison, Naismith; Miller.


The visitors also have injury problems and are already without key men Xavi, Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro, Jesus Navas and Raul Albiol.

Xabi Alonso missed the win over Lithuania due to illness, but is expected to be fit, whilst Sergio Ramos picked up an ankle knock in Friday’s win but should also be passed fit to play.

Possible starting XI: Casillas; Ramos, Pique, Puyol, Capdevila; Busquets, Alonso; Iniesta, Silva, Villa; Llorente.

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David Villa
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