After the recent win over Wales, Macedonia receives today Scotland trying to get his second consecutive win.
If they win the three points today they will climb to the third place of this Group A.
The Macedonian coach Chedomir Janevski cannot count with Agim Ibraimi suspended for this game against Scotland due to have seen the second yellow card in this qualification in the last game against Wales. It was a stupid but fair card as he kicked the ball away protesting a referee decision. Like this Aleksandar Trajkovski will replace him in the right wing, and we cannot say that will be a bad change if we think that he scored two goals in the last two Macedonia games.
Also Goran Pandev has a shoulder injury and will be doubtful until the game. He is in contention but everything indicates that he will be fit to play. If he cannot play, Darko Tasevski or David Babunski will replace him. Also the goalkeeper Tome Pachovski sustained a light injury in one of the last training sessions, but also Pachovski is expected to be full fit to face Scotland.
I think that Scotland has a similar value than Wales and like in the last Macedonia game, the hosts will have to work hard to get the three points in this game. Macedonia and Scotland want to end this qualification in the best way possible and they will play a careful game tonight.
Scotland has a more physical and direct football than Wales and the approach of Macedonia to this game should be different. Like this, physical players like Boban Grncharov may start the game as he is also good in aerial football. Grncharov maybe a good choice to this game. Other players like Ostoja Stjepanovikj, Adis Jahovikj or Mirko Ivanovski may also have their chance in this game.
As we all know, in the last game Macedonia defeated Wales by 2-1, and Scotland failed to beat them at home, losing the game by 1-2. The Macedonian style of football is always a problem to British teams as they are very good technically. But they don’t have many quality players, and the same happens to Scotland.
For this game in Macedonia, Strachan cannot count with Charlie Adam and Jordan Rhodes.
I am not counting on pretty football in this game as it is expected a battle that will result in Macedonia trying to get reach the second win in a row. These two sides already faced in the last 2010 World Cup qualification, with Macedonia home defeating Scotland by 1-0. However, Macedonia now has a new manager in Chedomir Janevski and the national team has played much more offensive football under his command. And not only the coach is different as from that game played three years ago, only Goran Pandev, Nikolche Noveski, Tome Pachovski, Boban Grncharov and Darko Tasevski are still on the current squad that will face Scotland in this 2014 qualifications.
Despite the two teams have no chances to reach the Brazil 2014, I expect that both will be full committed in trying to end the qualification in the best way, making this game a small battle, even more knowing the character and spirit of the two nations.
As I said, in the 2010 World Cup qualifications, Macedonia won 1:0 at home, but lost 2:0 on the road. In the present 2014 qualifications, Macedonia drew 1:1 in Scotland.