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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Goalkeepers:

Robert Douglas (Celtic)
Craig Gordon (Heart of Midlothian)

Defenders:

Russell Anderson (Aberdeen)
Gary Caldwell (Hibernian)
Jackie McNamara (Celtic)
David McNamee (Livingston)
Gary Naysmith (Everton)
Steven Pressley (Heart of Midlothian)
Andy Webster (Heart of Midlothian)
David Weir (Everton)

Midfield:

Barry Ferguson (Rangers)
Paul Hartley (Heart of Midlothian)
Neil McCann (Southampton)
Lee McCulloch (Wigan Athletic)
Brian O’Neil (Preston NE)
Nigel Quashie (Southampton)

Forwards:

Stephen Crawford (Dundee United)
Paul Dickov (Blackburn Rovers)
James McFadden (Everton)
Kenny Miller (Wolverhampton W.)
Garry O’Connor (Hibernian)
Steven Thompson (Rangers)


That looks like a pretty weak midfield to me :(

And no Riordan? Thought he should have been in the squad...
 

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Don't like the look of the midfield at all. Berti used to name a very sparse midfield too. Since when was Brian O'Neil a midfielder, or player for that matter. Lee McCulloch is a forward and there is a strong case for viewing McCann as a forward too. Like you say it's strange not to see Riordan in there. For one thing he would be one of the few who could claim to be playing football on a regular basis.

I'm not looking forward to this one at all. Nothing really inspiring in that list for me. Names like Crawford really disappoint me as they are legacy ffrom the old regime and that's the only reason they are there. The game in on the BBC but looking at that list I'm not looking forward to watching it.
 

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We'll have to wait and see what formation the management team come up with. One of the few positives from the Berti era which I hope Tommy tells Walter about was the game at the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia. Although the game was abandoned after an hour we competed well in that game against a very decent European side. The weather was a factor but I think the 4-1-4-1 formation helped us. This is the one I would take to the San Siro.

In Spain we played like this:

------------------------Gordon

Caldwell-----Webster-----MacKay-----Naysmith

------------------------McNamara

Fletcher-----Quashie-----Ferguson-----McFadden

------------------------Crawford

Of that side only Darren Fletcher and Malky Mackay are not available. Fletcher will be a miss. Of the rest though I'd take Gordon, Caldwell and Crawford out the team which would mean 5 overall changes. For me these would be the changes:

Craig Gordon- Playing consistently for Hearts and played in the last few Scotland games. On his club form and consistency should actually get the nod but to me has looked very shake in every game he has played for Scotland.
Rab Douglas- Is prone to mistakes but always looks confident. Has had a decent run now in the Celtic first team and would for me be the safest pair of hands.

Gary Caldwell- Bemuses me why he played in alot of games for Berti. I don't rate him at all and recently the amount of goals Hibs haev been conceding is evidence of his shortcomings. He's not a right back for a starter.
David McNamee - Long overdue his chance and a natural righ back playing there weekly for his club. He has a great engine and can get forward as well as defend well.

Malky Mackay- Not available and wouldn't choose him anyway. Squad player.
Russell Anderson - This is a tough one. David Weir is the most experienced player which we may need against Italy. Pressley though plays weekly with Webster and the understanding is a massive thing as we haev found to our cost before but Pressley hasn't played for a while now. Anderson for me is now an experienced player. As well as throwing himself at everything Zander Diamond's progress is in no small way down to the guidance of Anderson.

Darren Fletcher- Out with injury.
Paul Hartley - Not alot of options in midfield. Hartley lacks the experience but is having a good season. He works hard too as well as being creative. Right side of midfield is not his natural position but he could do the best job there with the limited choices.

Darren Fletcher- Overrated. Has done nothing since he first got the call when his partnership with Brewster was getting him goals. That was nearly 2 years ago and he is still getting into the side because of it.
Paul Dickov- Another difficult choice again. We never have had alot of choices up front. Stevie Thompson isn't playing regularly enough and for me would only play in a front two. Kenny Miller has been in good form for Wolves but cannot hold on to a ball so would not be the best choice for a lone role up front. My first choice would have been Garry O'Connor who is having a great season because he has strength, pace and decent in the air but I don't think it's the best game to throw him in from the statr with his inexperience. Dickov will battle alone up front and try to make runs so I would go with him and then bring on one of the others when he tires.

The team would look like this:

------------------------Douglas

McNamee-----Webster-----Anderson-----Naysmith

------------------------McNamara

Hartley-----Quashie-----Ferguson-----McFadden

------------------------Dickov
 

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_Eight_Ball_ said:
I can see this being a 5-0 thrashing
Me too but I'm hoping that when Italy get a couple of goals in front they'll go into cruise control and just keep possession rather than go for more goals.
 

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Walter will be praying nothing happens to Ferguson or Quashie. From that squad I reckon we'll be lining up with a 3-5-2, with Naysmith and possibly McNamara as wing-backs. I think Riordan's been left out because his form has dipped lately. It might have been worthwhile taking him along for the experience, but Walter probably remembers what happened to the likes of McNaughton when Berti threw him in at the deep end.

The team will probably look something like this:

--------------------Douglas----------------------

---------Anderson----Pressley----Weir------------
McNamara-------------------------------Naysmith

---------Hartley-----Ferguson-----Quashie-------

--------------------McFadden-------------------
----------------------Dickov--------------------
 

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Acording to the BBC site Riordan is in the under 21 side but will join up with the full team after that game. No doubt that will be for experience of being around the team like you pointed out.

The formation I posted is the one I would like to see Scotland play in this game in particular but the 3-5-2 you posted is the one Smith is most likely to use. That was his favourite formation at Everton and like you have pointed out in that formation Weir will probably start.
 

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Teddy Bear said:
McFadden is apparently a big doubt to play because of a hamstring problem
I doubt he'll be the first call-off :(

He was a definite starter, and it leaves Walter with a bit of a problem. McFadden wouldn't have played as an out and out striker, so Walter will either have to change his tactics and use two out and out strikers, or draft in someone like McCann to play McFadden's role :scared:
 

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I was thinking the same thing. He'll probably play McCann wide left. That said he doesn't have much choice as his midfield options are limited to say the least.
 

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Is there anyone who thinks a shock is on the cards? :howler: The Holland game at Hampden was probably moderately a shock win for us but when was the last time we won against the odds? I've been racking my brains and can only come up with the 1-0 win at Wembley but we still went out. Close on the heels of that was 1-0 win in a freindly in Germany.

We're not known for shock wins. Against the odds we usually end somewhere between a humping and a creditable defeat. This game is most likely to be closer to the former. As Scotland fans though we never learn and never will. As a Scotland fan I think of myself as one of the biggest culprits.

There was renewed hope when Berti arrived Craigie Brown squeezed the last bit of life out his old crocs before running away. Berti started from scratch and the youth were getting a chance, it was all looking good. The French then ripped us apart and brought us back down to earth. It went downhill fast from there.

Eighteen months later though we were back on a high. This time it had turned around and we were back on the up. We arrived in Amsterdam 4 days after beating the Dutch at home. A similar performance was taking us to Portugal. Berti was king and pride was restored. 90 minutes later we were back to earth with a 6-0 humping and continued sliding.

A year later and that same old story again. We were on the up. Berti had gone! :party: We had a new king and his name was Tommy Burns. He was going to get his chance to show how Scotland could play football against the might of Sweden. Sweden laughed in our face and brought their reserves. Tommy's side did play the football we wanted to see but the scoreboard showed the score we didn't want to see as we got thumped 4-1.

Six months later nothing has changed. Walter Smith is now the king and thigns are going to change. He's going to restore our pride and telling us that we can win in the San Siro. We're getting dragged along with the hype and it looks very likely that we are on the up again.

Although the game hasn't been played yet I could probably write what will happen when we are brought back down to earth once again. :sob:

Group 5 Matches

We play 4 days before the other teams. We can't expect anything from the San Siro and we are going to be in real trouble by the time the other matches are over. A win for Italy and Norway is all but guaranteed. The other match is a bit more of tight one. I'd expect Slovenia to win given that they haev already beaten Italy at home but Belarus are looking a very decent side too- that one is a close call.

Ideally we'd like a draw in both those games. Although that puts all the teams above us at least a point clearer of us we cannot afford for one of the sides to go marching off into the distance. That is if we are to have a chance of getting a playoff spot but I think we'd all admit that is not going to happen.

Code:
[img]http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/fifa/06/flag/sm2/ita.gif[/img] Italy     - Scotland [img]http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/fifa/06/flag/sm2/sco.gif[/img]
[img]http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/fifa/06/flag/sm2/mda.gif[/img] Moldova   -   Norway [img]http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/fifa/06/flag/sm2/nor.gif[/img]
[img]http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/fifa/06/flag/sm2/svn.gif[/img] Slovenia  -  Belarus [img]http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/fifa/06/flag/sm2/blr.gif[/img]
Group 5 Table

It's a horrible sight and the indications are that at the end of this month it's going to look a whole lot worse. We are already 5 points off the pace at the moment. It's looking very likely we'll be 8 points behind with Slovenia and Norway with only 15 points left to play for. We do have a game in hand but that is away to Belarus.

Only a win in Italy and Belarus would be enough to keep us in the fight. It's not looking likely though.

Code:
[b]Team         MP W D L GF GA Pts[/b]
 
[img]http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/fifa/06/flag/sm2/ita.gif[/img] Italy     4 3 0 1 7  5  9 
[img]http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/fifa/06/flag/sm2/nor.gif[/img] Norway    4 2 1 1 6  3  7 
[img]http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/fifa/06/flag/sm2/svn.gif[/img] Slovenia  4 2 1 1 4  3  7 
[img]http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/fifa/06/flag/sm2/blr.gif[/img] Belarus   3 1 1 1 8  5  4 
[img]http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/fifa/06/flag/sm2/sco.gif[/img] Scotland  3 0 2 1 1  2  2 
[img]http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/fifa/06/flag/sm2/mda.gif[/img] Moldova   4 0 1 3 1  9  1
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Italy squad

Grosso, Barzagli, Zaccarado, Barone, Toni ( Palermo )
Totti, Cassano, DeRossi, Montella ( Roma )
Buffon, Cannavaro, Blasi, Cameronesi ( Juventus )
Nesta, Pirlo, Gattuso ( Milan )
Bonera, Gilardino ( Parma )
Materazzi ( Inter )
Esposito ( Cagliari )
Chiellini ( Fiorentina )
DeSanctis ( Udinese )
Roma ( Monaco )
 

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Looking through the Italy NT thred it looks like Italy are likely to play a 4-3-1-2 with Totti playing behind the strikers. If this is the case then we need someone to sit in front of the central defence- most likely candidate is McNamara.
 

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McFadden has just wihtdrawn from the squad according to the SFA Site. No one has been brought in to replace him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
the Italian squad isn't (arguably) as good as it used to be...but it's still got the likes of Totti, Cassano, Buffon, Nesta, Pirlo, Gattuso etc so it's all relative - If we had only one of them i'd be happy!


chivoexpiatorio said:
McFadden has just wihtdrawn from the squad according to the SFA Site. No one has been brought in to replace him.

bad news :(
 

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I'd agree too that this isn't the best Italy side I've ever seen but it is relative as we've never been so guff. It's bad news about Faddy as he is the one player we have that could potentially change a match. Now we are just looking for a workman like performance from the team with probably one lone striker and everyone else behind the ball.

Taking a beating from the Azzurri though is at least nothing new to us and no one will be expecting anying less this weekend. We've only met 6 times with Italy winning 4 of those and one draw. Our only win was in 1965 at Hampden when we won 1-0 in a '66 World Cup qualifier with John Greig getting the only goal in the final minutes. Just the 100,000 watched that day. Hoepfully these things come along once every 40 years :smileani:

Italy have struggled away from home with a defeat in Slovenia and a 1-0 win over 10 man Moldova. At home though they have done well even though they have only won by a single goal in the 2-1 win over Norway and 4-3 win over Belarus.
 

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For some reason I don't think we'll get a doing. I'm thinking more along the lines of your creditable loss chivo. Something like 2-0. We should get McNamara to man-mark Totti and wind him up, cos he's a bit of a nutjob. A fantastic player, but a nutjob.

I'm no expert on the Italian NT, but it seems to me their problem area is the midfield. A lot of functional, decent players, but not outstanding in historical terms. I don't really think they've had a settled central midfield recently. Obviously with the likes of Rino and Pirlo up against Bazza and Quashie they've still got the edge on paper, but if our guys are on top form, you never know. But as you say chivo, we Scotland fans never learn...

McCann wasn't even on the bench for Southampton yesterday, so f*** knows what our attacking plan will be (probably just hit and hope).

I've not read the Italian thread yet, so I don't know if Cassano will be playing. But the thought of that guy up against our paceless defenders is scary :scared:

Who'll give me odds on Pressley or Weir conceding a penalty? ;)
 

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On the Italy NT recent form I'd normally think we were in with a shout even though they top the group. Our form though has been total pants and we are really lagging in this group. A new manager is an known quantity though so you neer know. If you are correct and we only lose by two goals then I think I'd settle for that. as long as it's not another humping I'll be moderately content.

BTW Derek Riordan's two goals at the weekend made him the top Scottish striker in the SPL with the same goals as Novo and only one less than Hartson. Surely there is room for him in the side.
 

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Paul Dickov's out now too :frown:

I really hope we get no more call-offs otherwise you'd start fearing for us on Saturday (i mean a drubbing, not a defeat...). Who does that leave us up front? O'Connor :scared: Thompson :scared::scared: and Crawford :scared::scared::scared:? Based on that, I reckon Kenny Miller has a decent chance of starting. What a choice that is. I'd guess Riordan gets drafted into the squad now.
 
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