Jim Duffy: Scotland should axe these two Celtic players for clash v Malta
By Danny Wright
Jim Duffy has suggested that Scotland should axe Leigh Griffiths and Scott Brown from Monday night’s World Cup qualifier with Malta.
The Celtic duo are both one booking away from picking up a one-match suspension, meaning that if they were to get themselves in the referee’s book against Malta, they will miss the big showdown with Slovakia next month, which is a crucial match in the Tartan Army’s hopes of making the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Gordon Strachan’s men are four points behind a potential play-off spot, which is currently occupied by Slovakia while England look set to secure the automatic qualification spot at the top of the group.
Griffiths and Brown are no doubt two of the most influential players in the Scotland squad and although it would make sense to drop the pair for the clash with minnows Malta, Duffy isn’t sure that Strachan would do it.
“One solution tonight would be to leave out both Brown and Leigh Griffiths, who is in a similar position, but I don’t see that happening,” said Duffy on the Scottish Sun website.
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“It’s Scotland we’re talking about, we can’t afford to look too far ahead! The first thing we have to do is win the game. That’s all.
“So I would expect Gordon to go with roughly the same group of players who performed so well the other night in Vilnius.”
Monday’s opponents Malta have lost all seven of their World Cup qualifiers so far and victory for the Scots could see them move within a point of Slovakia, who travel to Wembley to face England in their next match.
Strachan’s side won 5-1 in their last clash with Malta thanks to a Chris Martian goal, a Robert Snodgrass hat-trick and an own goal.