Scotland boss Steve Clarke says he wants to put their World Cup play off defeat to Ukraine behind them as they face Armenia (Match Betting – Scotland 1/3, draw 19/5, Armenia 9/1) in the Nations League.
The Tartan Army’s hopes of travelling to Qatar for the World Cup were shattered last Wednesday as a spirited display from Ukraine saw them walk away from Hampden Park with a 3-1 win.
Ukraine ultimately didn’t qualify for the World Cup as they went down 1-0 to Wales on Sunday leaving Scotland with a sense of ‘what if’.
It means their wait to compete in a World Cup continues with the 1998 World Cup in France the last time they participated in the tournament.
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Now, they get their delayed Nations League campaign underway against Armenia at home on Wednesday evening.
Armenia had a great start to their campaign on Saturday with a 1-0 win at home to a below-par Republic of Ireland in League B1.
Ahead of his team’s competition bow, Clarke says Ukraine should be put to the back of their minds and says a good tournament will display further progress.
“It’s a new tournament, it’s one we want to do well in and if we can manage to finish top of the section and get into the A group for the next round of Nations League matches then that would be another sign of the progress that I think we are making,” he said.
“Obviously, we have to finish above Ukraine and they showed against us at Hampden that they were a very good team.”
Meanwhile, Stephen Kenny’s Republic of Ireland face Ukraine (Match Betting – Ireland 6/4, draw 21/10, Ukraine 2/1) as they look to kickstart their campaign with a win.
The loss at Armenia was another blow to his reign and Kenny has only won five of 23 matches he has taken charge of.
And, he has urged his players to be ready for the Ukraine challenge when they arrive to the Aviva Stadium.
“We analysed the game and debriefed. Ukraine is a completely different challenge tactically,” he said. “We’ve got to switch on quickly to make sure we’re ready.”
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