Euro 2024: Scotland still has work to do says Clarke
Scotland will face Georgia away in their penultimate Euro 2024 qualifier. They have already secured a place in Germany next year with two games to spare.
Boss Steve Clarke says his team still have a bit of “work to do” after losing on their past two visits to Georgia. His side are have also lost their last three games. With qualification already secured, Scotland should go into the game with confidence and look to end their winning drought.
“Listen, we want to get back to winning ways,” said Clarke.
“It’s not very often in the reign I’ve had, apart from the early stages, that we’ve had consecutive defeats like we’ve had recently so it’d be nice to think in the remaining two games we can pick up more points.
“What’s past is the past, there’s nothing we can do to affect that. All we can do is affect the future, the next game. When you go away from home against a team like Georgia it’s going to be a difficult environment, it’s going to be a difficult game for us because I think they’re a very good side.
“The one game they lost heavily was to Spain and that’s a little bit of an anomaly in their fixtures recently because all their games have been very competitive and we expect another one tomorrow night.
“I’ve always said we want to get as high a points tally as possible. We’ve two more games to try and do that.”
Is Georgia vs Scotland on TV? Channel, time and how to watch Euro 2024 qualifier
When is Georgia vs Scotland?
Georgia vs Scotland is due to kick off at 5 pm GMT on Thursday 16 November at the Boris Paichadze National Stadium.
How can I watch it?
Viewers in the United Kingdom can watch the match on ViaPlay Sports 1, with coverage starting at 4:30 pm.
All of Scotland’s Euro 2024 qualifiers are being shown on ViaPlay, which requires a ViaPlay Total pass subscription. The match can be accessed by downloading the ViaPlay app or through providers such as Sky, Virgin Media or Prime Video.
It can also be streamed directly on the ViaPlay website.
Scotland suffered defeats in friendlies against England and France as well as their competitive loss in Spain. Two wins over Georgia and Norway would guarantee a pot two place in the draw for Euro 2024 – something Clarke sees as over the horizon right now.
“The idea with the two friendly matches against England and France was to test yourself against the best, see how you measure up and obviously with the results in both games we still have a bit of work to do,” he said.
“We just stay focused, respect every opponent and try to improve all the time. Next summer will take care of itself.
“At the moment the objective is to get as many points as we can in this qualifying group, so questions about Germany, I’ll answer them, or will start to answer them better in March.”
Scotland has suffered injuries to key players such as Andy Robertson, regulars Kieran Tierney, Angus Gunn, Aaron Hickey and Che Adams. It means places in the squad are available.
Clarke believes there is strength in depth as he approaches his 50th match in charge of the national side, something he has tried to identify since taking on the role.
Key players are out for Scotland with decisions to be made in defence and the goalkeeping position. Clarke was non-committal on who would take that spot, with both Liam Kelly and Zander Clark given debuts in the recent defeat by France.
There seems an opportunity in both wing-back positions and central defence with Robertson, Hickey and Tierney out, while in-form Lawrence Shankland has been drafted in to replace Adams on the back of five goals in his past five matches.
Scotland manager Steve Clarke: “There will be some squads like this one where there are a number of players missing. It’s a chance for someone else. If anyone else can do better it makes my selection more difficult going into next year and the selection will be difficult for me.
“I have to find the right 23 for next summer. For now, some boys are in the squad with a chance to make a big impression on not just me but the rest of the staff and the rest of the country. Let’s see how they perform in the game.”
Georgia head coach Willy Sagnol: “What we are doing at the moment we have to make it better and stronger. The results are one thing but how we are going to present ourselves, the confidence, the team spirit, will be more important than anything else, because that is what is going to make us stronger or not regarding March [and the Euro 2024 play-offs].
“To gain as much confidence as possible for March, we need to do a lot of things well in these two matches.”
Georgia XI: Mamardashvili, Mamuchashvili, Lochoshvili, Kashia, Kvirkvelia, Azarovi, Kiteishvili, Kvevkveskiri, Chakvetadze; Mikautadze, Kvaratskhelia.
Scotland XI: Clark, Hendry, McKenna, Cooper, Patterson, Gilmour, McTominay, Taylor, McGinn, Christie, Dykes.
Scotland to secure a narrow win with a late goal. Georgia 0-1 Scotland.