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Italy and Portugal will be wary of facing Scotland in the World Cup play-offs, insists Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke believes Italy and Portugal will be wary of facing their Scottish side in the World Cup play-offs next March after finishing their group stage campaign on top.

  • Steve Clarke thinks Italy and Portugal should distrust their Scotland team
  • Scotland have booked their place in the World Cup play-offs next March
  • They could meet players like Ronaldo and Lewandowski for a place in Qatar
  • However, Clarke insists that his Scottish national team would be a ‘tough’ test for anyone.


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Steve Clarke believes that players like Italy and Portugal will be wary of being tied with Scotland in the World Cup play-offs.

His team is one of Europe’s fit nations after six top wins that saw them finish just three points behind group champion Denmark, whom they beat 2-0 at Hampden Park on Monday.

That streak has secured a spot among the seeded before the March games for a spot in Qatar, meaning a semifinal awaits at home.

Steve Clarke believes Italy and Portugal should be careful not to draw Scotland in the play-offs

Steve Clarke believes Italy and Portugal should be careful not to draw Scotland in the play-offs

Scotland have booked their place in the World Cup play-offs after finishing second in Group F

Scotland have booked their place in the World Cup play-offs after finishing second in Group F

Scotland have booked their place in the World Cup play-offs after finishing second in Group F

However, the news that European champions Italy and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal will advance to the play-offs has slightly dampened the mood here in Glasgow.

But Clarke, when asked about the ‘big teams’ they could still face, said:’ Scotland is there too. If someone saw the Denmark game, they will think it will be difficult (draw Scotland).

“We wanted to finish the campaign high and I think you saw the way we approached the game and we were very positive. We risked a lot and that night we were the best team.

“ We were criticized during Euro 2020, but we learned from the tournament. I don’t know if anyone remembers that, when we went to the tournament, I said that we would come out of it as a better team and squad. We have improved, the fact is that we have been together. We’ve come a long way in a short time and it’s great. ‘

They could face players like Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in the March play-offs

They could face players like Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in the March play-offs

They could face players like Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in the March play-offs

Southampton striker Che Adams was right both during last Friday’s 2-0 win in Moldova and against the Danes.

The 24-year-old has become Scotland’s top striker since declaring his allegiance earlier this year, with Clarke adding: ‘Not bad, Che McAdams. He’s a good player, I’ve always said that.

Like most forwards, he needs confidence. He has scored some goals for Southampton and is in a good place.

‘He got his goal against Moldova and you saw his goal against Denmark, he showed great composure. It was all about him against three strong, physical center-backs. Che isn’t the tallest, but he’s a strong b **** r. ‘

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