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Bannan and Fletcher in contention

5 October 2017

Owls duo Barry Bannan and Steven Fletcher are in contention to feature for Scotland this evening in their crucial World Cup qualifier.

The Scots host Slovakia at Hampden Park with kick-off at 7.45pm.

Gordon Strachan’s side are in good form with back to back wins during the last international break standing them in good stead in the group.

Scotland are currently in fourth spot but wins over Slovakia and Slovenia this week would all but secure a play-off spot in Group F.

Ahead of the tonight’s qualifier, Scotland boss Strachan has spoken highly of in-form Owls ace Bannan, who has forced his way into strong contention this past month.

He said: “The best performance I’ve seen over the last three or four weeks is Barry Bannan’s, so he’s definitely at the forefront of what we’re trying to do.

“Forget how big it is and how exciting it is. And it’s really exciting. Forget the rest of the emotions.

“When you have a challenge, excitement comes along. It’s really exciting for me and really enjoyable taking on this challenge with the players.

“There’s always a good buzz when we meet, but obviously the buzz is higher if you have got those couple of wins under your belt.”

Scotland suffered a heavy 3-0 loss in their last meeting with Slovakia back in October 2016 in Stadion Antona Malatinskeho, Trnava.

But the Scots are favourites to come out on top and right the wrongs from the previous encounter this evening and the manager added:

“We have had to deal with must-win games over the last four, I think. So we have dealt with that OK. We could only deal with that if we’ve got a good spirit and a good bit of camaraderie.

“We believed that we could come back in and play the way we have played in recent months.”

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