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Talking points ahead of Scotland’s Nations League clash with Czech Republic

Scotland v Israel – UEFA Nations League – Group F – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Scotland take on the Czech Republic in their second Nations League group game in Olomouc on Monday night, following Friday’s 1-1 draw with Israel at Hampden Park.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at a fixture that caused quite a stir over the weekend.

Czech Republic have a whole new squad

The Czech football association declared on Friday that the game against Scotland had been called off amid a coronavirus threat.

However, UEFA insisted on Saturday that the match will go ahead and the Czechs confirmed that they will have “new players and staff members” for the match.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke was quick to point out that the Czech replacements will be quality but accepts expectations of an away win will have increased.

Anything else would be a blow to confidence ahead of next month’s European Championship play-off semi-final against Israel at Hampden Park.

Changes will be made

Scotland v Israel – UEFA Nations League – Group F – Hampden Park

Midfielder Stuart Armstrong could  get a start against Czech Republic (Andrew Milligan/PA)

At the pre-match media conference, Clarke revealed that, due to the squad being at different stages of their respective seasons, there would be “some changes” to the team from Friday.

Southampton midfielder Stuart Armstrong was put in front of the media which suggests he will come into the side following his second-half substitute appearance against Israel.

Norwich midfielder Kenny McLean, Leeds defender Liam Cooper and Motherwell defender Declan Gallagher will be among those who also hope to start.

But does Lyndon Dykes keep his place?

Scotland v Israel – UEFA Nations League – Group F – Hampden Park

Lyndon Dykes (left) made his Scotland debut against Israel – does he keep his place against Czech Republic? (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The QPR striker opted for Scotland over Australia, land of his birth, and was handed his debut against Israel.

The former Livingston forward could be pleased with his performance as the lone striker before he was replaced by Oli Burke in the 74th minute.

Will Clarke give Dykes the nod again or will Burke – or even late call-up Callum Paterson – be brought in against the Czechs?

Where does Kieran Tierney play?

Scotland v Israel – UEFA Nations League – Group F – Hampden Park

Where does Steve Clarke play Kieran Tierney (right) against the Czech Republic? (Andrew Milligan/PA)

For the first time since he became Scotland boss, Clarke had to deal with the Kieran Tierney/Andrew Robertson dilemma ahead of the match against Israel.

How do you accommodate two very good left-backs? Clarke chose to put the Arsenal player on the left side of a back three – the first time the Scotland boss had deviated from a back four – with Robertson as a left-wing back. The general consensus is that it did not work.

Clarke hinted that he may revert to a back four in Olomouc.

Both Tierney and Robertson will play. Does the former Celtic defender move to right-back, where he has played for Scotland before, or the left side of a central defensive two? Big call for Clarke.