Scotland vs. Croatia, Hampden Park in Glasgow
Tuesday, 15 October 2013, 20.00 (BST)
Scotland may not be heading to Brazil next summer, but Gordon Strachan's side will hope to move above Wales in Group A on Tuesday evening with victory over a Croatia side assured of a playoff place.
While assistant manager Stuart McCall does not believe Croatia's nine players carrying a yellow card—and therefore risk of suspension—will affect the visitors' performance, per the Telegraph, the Scots will hope to take advantage of any forced rotation to earn a morale-boosting win to end the campaign.
Steven Hammell, 31, has been called to the squad as cover for Rangers left-back Lee Wallace, per BBC Sport, while Blackburn's prolific forward Jordan Rhodes has dropped out of the squad through injury.
Back in June, Scotland claimed a memorable 1-0 away win against the Croats in Zagreb and will hope to repeat that feat. Coming off the back of a 2-1 success in Macedonia on Friday, confidence should be high among the camp.
Per Sky Sports, Scotland's match-winner in Zagreb, Robert Snodgrass, has returned to the squad after missing the encounter with Macedonia to attend the birth of his child.
For Croatia, expect the likes of Mario Mandzukic to be omitted ahead of a playoff fixture next month, with the risk of suspension hanging over his head.
With Eduardo da Silva and Nikica Jelavic among those who could come in for the Bayern star, coach Igor Stimac will not be too concerned.
Indeed, per STV, former Derby player Stimac described the game as "kind of a training session":
We are not under any pressure. We are in the play-offs. So this game will be kind of a training session for us.
[How important is it to beat Scotland?] It is very important to win every game.
One definite absentee is Sevilla midfielder and captain Ivan Rakitic, who has withdrawn from the squad through injury, per Marca (Spanish).
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