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5 major talking points as Scotland take on Faroe Islands in World Cup qualifier

Scotland v Moldova – FIFA World Cup 2022 – European Qualifying – Group F – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Scotland take on the Faroe Islands in their 2022 World Cup qualifier in Torshavn on Tuesday.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the main talking points ahead of the Group F encounter where the second-placed Scots will look to take another step towards a play-off spot.

Pressing home the advantage

Scott McTominay (right) celebrates

Scott McTominay (right) scored a late winner last time out to leave Scotland in a strong place (Jane Barlow/PA)

Scotland’s dramatic 3-2 win over Israel at Hampden Park on Saturday was packed with significance.

Scott McTominay’s winner in added time put the second-placed Scots in the box seat for a play-off spot.

After seven fixtures, Scotland have 14 points, seven behind runaway leaders Denmark and four more than Israel and Austria.

Now there are two away games against the Faroe Islands and then bottom side Moldova before the final match at home to Denmark and it is all set up for Steve Clarke’s side to clinch second and indeed, many will believe the hard work is done.

But Scotland have struggled away to the Faroe Islands before

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Scotland have twice been held to a draw in the Faroe Islands in European Championship qualifiers so there should be no need for warnings to be issued.

In 1999, Scotland had a man sent off and conceded an injury-time goal in a 1-1 draw.

Allan Johnston had given the visitors the lead before Matt Elliot was sent off for violent conduct just before half-time with the Faroes levelling in stoppage-time through Hans Hansen.

There was more embarrassment in 2002, when Scotland scraped a 2-2 draw against the part-timers who took a two-goal lead through John Petersen.

Berti Vogts’ side got back into the game with a deflected Paul Lambert goal before fellow midfielder Barry Ferguson levelled with eight minutes remaining.

Grant Hanley available again

Grant Hanley (right) in action for Scotland

Grant Hanley (right) was suspended last time out (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Norwich central defender Grant Hanley, a key part of Clarke’s set-up recently, was suspended for the visit of the Israelis.

McTominay, Jack Hendry and Kieran Tierney formed the back three on Saturday and it was far from solid at times.

The Arsenal defender is a certain starter in the Faroes so Clarke has a dilemma. Does Hanley step straight back in?

If so, for whom? And if Clarke takes McTominay out, does the Manchester United midfielder move into the engine room? If so, who drops out from Billy Gilmour, Callum McGregor and John McGinn?

Clarke to change up the attack

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Scotland started with strikers Che Adams and Lyndon Dykes against Israel.

The Southampton forward was replaced by Ryan Christie in the second half and will miss the trip to Torshavn with a muscle injury.

Dykes scored the second equaliser after missing a penalty and – after scoring in three successive internationals – will likely start again.

Christie, Ryan Fraser and Kevin Nisbet will all be hoping to get the nod.

Who is on penalties?

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Dykes had his penalty against Israel saved by former Hibernian goalkeeper Ofir Marciano on Saturday.

The QPR striker was fortunate to score from the spot in the previous qualifier against Austria in Vienna, the ball squirming under keeper Daniel Bachmann for the crucial victory.

Clarke was quoted after the game as saying Dykes is off the penalties but played the situation down at his pre-match press conference.

All will be revealed if the referee points to the penalty spot on Tuesday.