Scotland must 'stay patient' against Spain - Clarke

2 months ago 30
Scotland opened Group A with a 3-0 win over Cyprus at HampdenScotland opened Group A with a 3-0 win over Cyprus at Hampden
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Tuesday, 28 March Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Scotland, live text on the BBC Sport website & app, highlights on BBC One Scotland

Scotland will need to be "patient without the ball" and "very positive" in possession when Spain visit Hampden on Tuesday, says manager Steve Clarke.

The hosts are buoyed by a 3-0 win over Cyprus in Glasgow on Saturday, while Spain opened Euro 2024 qualifying with the same scoreline at home to Norway.

"Cyprus was a different proposition," said Clarke. "We had more attacking opportunities than maybe we will get tomorrow, but when we get attacking opportunities against Spain we have to capitalise on them."

Spain beat Scotland home and away in qualifying before defending their European Championship title in 2012.

But the Spanish are rebuilding after a disappointing World Cup in Qatar, with Luis de la Fuente replacing Luis Enrique as manager.

Scotland need more to topple new-look Spain

"They have changed quite a lot of players from the World Cup but all the players are still quality players, they understand the system and how they want to play," added Clarke.

"They are a possession-based side with players who can hurt you in the final third. We will have to be organised and structured.

"You don't want to over commit, certainly early in the game, and against Spain you know that if you over commit you run the risk of being picked off.

"So we have to be good and patient without the ball but we also have to be very positive when we have the ball.

"We have to be ready to be out of possession a little bit more than we were at the weekend, where we dominated possession."

Spain are ranked 10th in the world and Clarke insists he is relishing the challenge.

"I go into every game thinking I'm going to win," he said. "I've done that since I was 17, every single game.

"I don't think you can be professional and go into a game and think you're going to lose.

"So we approach the game knowing we have to be disciplined, we have to be organised, we have to play very, very well.

"Spain probably have to slightly under-perform but if that happens, we can get a positive result. I don't see any other way of looking at it, to be honest."

Team news

Southampton striker Che Adams is missing with an injury picked up during Saturday's win, with Hearts' Lawrence Shankland called up.

Lyndon Dykes is expected to lead the line in the absence of Adams, while Scott McTominay is pushing for a start after the Manchester United midfielder's late double against Cyprus.

Mato Joselu also scored twice as a substitute at the weekend and the 32-year-old Espanyol striker could make a first start for Spain, who are missing the injured Barcelona star Pedri.

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