Gordon Strachan believes Scotland are due a bit of good fortune in Saturday’s World Cup Qualifying draw, but says his squad will fear no one in the quest to reach the 2018 finals in Russia.
Scotland are in Pot 3 for the draw and could be paired with top seeds such as Germany, Spain or the Netherlands. The National Coach has pointed to home and away wins over Croatia, the top ranked side in our 2014 World Cup Qualifying group, as proof that Scotland can produce big results.
Gordon, who will watch the draw live at a Scotland Supporters Club event at Hampden, said: "I've never been one for hoping that we avoid this team or wishing that we draw that team. It's disrespectful to the other nations and it's also pointless - you can't control names that come out of a glass bowl.

"What I would say is that, given the draws in recent campaigns we are due a favourable one. When you look at the campaign for the World Cup in 2014, Croatia were top seeds and we managed to beat them twice, which shows that we are more than capable of upsetting those seeded above us.

"The problem for us was that Belgium were third seeds behind Serbia but by that point had blossomed into one of the best teams in Europe with the emergence of Fellaini, Courtois, Kompany, Hazard, Benteke and Lukaku as top, top players.

"Then there was Wales, who were supposedly the weakest team in the group as six seeds but who have since gone on a remarkable journey helped in no small part by having an inspirational world-class player in Gareth Bale.

"The fact they are now a top seed is a credit to Chris Coleman and the work his players have done to improve.

"From our own point of view, I don't think anyone would argue with the progress we have made so far in another tough group - in fact the toughest qualifying group in the European Qualifiers.

"We have already shown we can compete against the world champions, Germany, and while we have a few big challenges ahead the experience will stand our players in good stead. I still firmly believe we can qualify and that we will qualify for the Euro 2016 finals in France and, more importantly, the players believe that, too.”

Scotland could be drawn alongside Euro 2016 rivals the Republic of Ireland and Georgia, who occupy Pots 4 and 6, with lengthy trips to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan also a possibility.
Gordon believes the increasing standard of UEFA member teams means there’s no such thing as an easy group anymore:

"It doesn't really matter to me whether we were in Pot 2 or 3. Having been Pot 4 for long enough it shows progress, but qualification for major tournaments will happen on the pitch, not on a spreadsheet.

"There is no doubt qualifying for a World Cup finals is harder than ever, especially for nations in the UEFA confederation - there are so many good national teams across the continent vying for a limited number of places. It is certainly changed days from my time as an international player and I think we lose sight of that fact when we analyse recent disappointments.

"Having said that, we now have a group of players who want to better themselves, to achieve great things in their careers and, just as importantly, give our supporters the kind of experience they deserve. I've said it before and I will say it again: World Cups and European Championship finals have been poorer as festivals of football for not having the Scotland supporters there and I know they are looking forward to returning as much as we are.”
Gordon will be joined by Stuart McCall at Saturday’s draw event, and is thrilled to have the chance to watch the draw unfold from St Petersburg in the company of Scotland supporters.

He added: "I'm looking forward to watching the draw with our fans because I believe they are hugely important to what we are trying to achieve.”