Euro 2012: Scotland v Spain Team News
Craig Levein’s controversial tactics for the Czech Republic game came in for some surprise support from Tuesday’s opposite number, Spain boss Vicente del Bosque.
Online bookmakers are offering free bets to new customers and cash back offers for the Euro 2012 Group I game between Scotland and Spain at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.
Much to the chagrin of Scottish fans and pundits, Levein fielded a team without a recognized striker for their 1-0 defeat in Prague but del Bosque told press he could understand the strategy.
He said: “I think the tactics employed by the Czech Republic, who had two very attacking midfielders who were getting forward at every opportunity, almost obliged Scotland to play in that style.”
Levein has said he believes his team is capable of a victory against the world champions and has promised a more attacking approach in the home fixtures.
This means a recall for Rangers striker Kenny Miller who is scoring for fun in the Scottish Premier league with ten goals in seven appearances.
He netted the equalizer in the opening group game when Scotland had to come from one down to beat Liechtenstein 2-1, before being dropped against Czech Republic.
Clearly Scotland’s best chance of scoring against Spain, Miller is available at odds of 17/4 with Unibet to score at anytime in the game.
Sunderland’s right back Phil Bardsley has been called into the squad as cover for Tottenham’s Alan Hutton who is unlikely to recover from his groin strain, but plans a late fitness test.
Levein will wait for a late assessment on Lee McCulloch’s hip problem before finalising his defensive shape.
The Ranger’s midfielder is deployed in a holding role for his country and with no other options available, Levein may revert to five defenders if McCulloch doesn’t make it.
Spain have former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso available after recovering from flu and Sergio Ramos is expected to have shaken off the ankle knock he picked up against Lithuania on Friday.
On the injured list are midfield maestro Xavi and wideman Pedro Rodriguez.
After scoring twice on Friday, striker Fernando Llorente is expected to continue up front in the absence of Liverpool’s Fernando Torres.
David Villa goes in search of his 45th international goal to depose Raul as Spain’s record goal scorer.
Possible starting lineups:
SCOTLAND: McGregor (Rangers); Bardsley (Sunderland), Weir (Rangers), McManus (Middlesbrough), Whittaker (Rangers); Naismith (Rangers), Dorrans (West Brom), Fletcher (Wolves), McCulloch (Rangers), Morrison (West Bromwich); Miller (Rangers).
SPAIN: Casillas (Real Madrid); Ramos (Real Madrid), Pique (Barcelona), Puyol (Barcelona), Capdevila (Villarreal); Busquets (Barcelona), Cazorla (Villarreal), Iniesta (Barcelona); Silva (Man City), Llorente (Athletico Bilbao), Villa (Barcelona).