Scotland v Macedonia preview Scotland v Macedonia preview

  • Scotland cannot afford anything le s than a win against Macedonia if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.George Burleys side are locked in a battle with Macedonia and Norway for second spot in Group 9, behind runaway leaders Holland who they play on Wednesday.A victory on Saturday followed by another win against a Dutch side that have already qualified will a sure Scotland of second place in the group.However, only the eight best runners-up qualify for the play-offs; meaning Scotlandcould still lose out if other results dont go to plan. But, in a bizarre twist, results against the bottom nation of the other eight groups will not count because Scotland play in a group consisting of five teams rather than six; knocking as many as six points off potential rivals totals.Perhaps surprisingly, Macedonia are bidding to qualify for their first World Cup but have to travelto Oslo after their contest with Scotland.They will be buoyed by anarrow 3-2 friendly defeat to European champions Spain recently, but have failed to securea point in either of their two away matches so far.A raucous crowd is expected on Saturday at Hampden Park and Macedonias star striker Goran Pandev in particular is likely to receive a hot reception, having been accused of diving by Scotland a sistant Terry Butcher.Diver; Goran PandevChristophe Berras absence with illne s adds to a defensive crisis already plaguing the Scotland squad. Gary and Steven Caldwell were already sidelined with injury and suspension respectively, leaving Burley only three centre-backs to choose from.

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