HomeSoccerSoccer Faroe Islands v Scotland: Steve Clarke warns ‘improving’ hosts will make it ‘tough’ TV Channel

Soccer Faroe Islands v Scotland: Steve Clarke warns ‘improving’ hosts will make it ‘tough’ TV Channel

Soccer Faroe Islands v Scotland: Steve Clarke warns ‘improving’ hosts will make it ‘tough’ TV Channel

Israel's Nir Bitton and Scotland's Che Adams
Che Adams (right) has dropped out of the Scotland squad through injury
Venue: Torsvollur, Torshavn Date: Tuesday, 12 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio Scotland, text updates at BBC Sport website, Sportscene highlights at 22:35 on BBC One Scotland

Steve Clarke tempered the euphoria of Scotland’s win over Israel by warning his side “you are never too far away from the next crisis” as they travel to face Faroe Islands on Tuesday.

Saturday’s thrilling 3-2 victory at Hampden means the Scots are two more wins away from securing a place in the World Cup play-offs.

But they have been held to two infamous draws before in the Faroes.

“The historic results don’t matter now,” the head coach insists.

“What matters now is that the Faroes are improving all the time and qualified out of their section in the Nations League. The 4-0 scoreline we had against them at Hampden in March had a little bit of a gloss on it for us – it was not a 4-0 game.”

Scotland lie second in Group F, seven points behind leaders Denmark but four ahead of both Israel and Austria.

Wins in the Faroes, who sit second bottom, and in November away to Moldova, who prop up the section without a win, will secure the runners-up spot.

Clarke, who will be without striker Che Adams through injury, says it was right for his side to celebrate in front of a packed Hampden on Saturday as they had qualified for this summer’s Euro finals in front of an empty stadium.

“It was nice to enjoy it as it was a big three points for us,” he says. “Good for the confidence and good for them to feel loved.

“There was a good feeling around the camp in the last couple of days, but ultimately it is just another step towards hopefully securing second position and getting into the play-offs. We are back focused on a tough game in the Faroes.”

Team news

Southampton’s Adams will miss out after the 25-year-old picked up a muscle injury that forced him to be substituted 68 minutes into his 11th Scotland cap.

However, Norwich City centre-half Grant Hanley returns from suspension and Clarke suggests it leaves him with “great selection dilemmas”.

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay moved back into central defence in Hanley’s absence at Hampden and scored the stoppage-time winner.

Meanwhile, Adams’ absence could present an opportunity for Hibernian’s Kevin Nisbet, who made his debut in the March win over the Faroes, to make only his second start, although it was Bournemouth’s attacking midfielder, Ryan Christie, who came off the bench on Saturday.

Clarke points out that he has to consider a disappointing first half and a “great second” that required “a big effort”, “so I have to get the balance right between the players that played the other night and freshening the team enough to give us that little bit of fresh impetus”.

What do we know about Faroe Islands?

Led by 61-year-old Swede Hakan Ericson since 2019, the Faroes have showed steady improvement, running group leaders Denmark close and beating Moldova 2-1 at home to stay off the bottom of Group F.

Famously made up of amateurs until the 1990s, the Faroes under the former Sweden Under-21 head coach now have a squad boasting an experienced squad featuring several full-time professionals who play in the Belgian, Austrian, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Irish and Icelandic leagues.

Goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen had two spells with Motherwell and is one of the squad’s most-capped players, while defender Sonni Nattestad plays for Dundalk and Joan Simun Edmundsson, of Waasland-Beveren in Belgium’s second tier, and home based Runavik striker Klaemint Olsen are the two main goal threats.

The fourth-smallest European nation by population have never made it to a major tournament, but they won their first competition in November when finishing top of a Nations League group containing Malta, Latvia and Andorra.

Their biggest-ever win came in June, when they thumped Liechtenstein 5-1 in a friendly, and they gave Austria a tough game in Torshavn on Saturday before losing 2-0.

Match statistics

  • Scotland have never lost in 10 previous meetings with the Faroe Islands, winning eight, and won 4-0 at Hampden Park in March in the reverse World Cup 2022 qualifying meeting.
  • Faroe Islands haven’t scored in any of their last four matches against Scotland – since Julian Johnsson equalised to make it 1-1 in a Euro 2004 qualifier in September 2003, the Faroes have conceded 17 without reply against the Scots.
  • Scotland have faced the Faroes more often without losing than any other nation and have only trailed once, going 2-0 down in September 2002 in an away European Championships qualifier before drawing 2-2 with goals from Paul Lambert and Barry Ferguson.
  • Faroe Islands have lost five of their last six World Cup qualifying matches, beating Moldova 2-1 at home in the other in September.
  • Scotland have won each of their last three internationals and last won more in succession in October 2007 (run of six), a streak that included a victory over Faroe Islands.
  • Faroe Islands have kept just one clean sheet in their last 18 qualifying matches for major tournaments, doing so in a 1-0 win over Malta in October 2019.
  • Queens Park Rangers striker Lyndon Dykes has scored in each of Scotland’s last three matches; the last player to score in four or more consecutive appearances for the senior national side was Colin Stein, who hit five in a row in May 1969.
  • Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn has been directly involved in 13 goals in 25 Scotland appearances under Steve Clarke, scoring 11, six more than any other player.

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