Scotland v Albania
Monday 10 September
Hampden Park, Glasgow
Scotland open their UEFA Nations League campaign this evening, as Alex McLeish’s team welcome Albania to Hampden Park for their first match in the new competition.
With a place at UEFA Euro 2020 up for grabs for the winners of each UEFA Nations League tier, tonight marks the first step on an important road for the home side, as they look to qualify for a first major tournament since 1998.
It will be a youthful squad that takes to the hallowed turf of Hampden tonight, with an average age of less than 26.
The squad’s preparation for their opening UEFA Nations League fixture has included a week training at Oriam under the watchful eye of McLeish and his fellow coaches, as well as Friday night’s defeat to Belgium at Hampden.
Though the result was disappointing, it marked a milestone for two of those clad in blue; new captain Andrew Robertson led the side out for the first time, whilst Hearts defender John Souttar made his international debut.
Fresh from a 1-0 victory over Israel in their opening UEFA Nations League fixture, Albania arrive in Glasgow in high spirits having reminded observers as to the ability that saw the squad qualify for UEFA Euro 2016.
Tonight marks the first encounter between Scotland and Albania at the senior men’s level.
Whilst the Men’s A team have never faced Albania in a full international fixture, the Scotland Women’s National Team successfully qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup by claiming a 2-1 victory in Shkoder last week.
Scotland boss Alex McLeish has no new injury worries following Friday’s defeat to Belgium. Though striker Leigh Griffiths went off at half time in that match he is expected to be fit to start against Albania.
Albania will be without recent Rangers signing Eros Grezda, after the winger withdrew from the squad due to an ankle injury.
Scotland striker Steven Naismith: “These young guys are getting a taste of what it’s like at the top and there’s a lot of them that will move on to the top clubs in the coming years.
“Hopefully we as a squad can do well together and push on to make a finals”
Scotland assistant coach Peter Grant: “We’re saying to this group that it’s an opportunity with this competition to do it, to go and qualify for a big tournament. It would allow the supporters to go and enjoy themselves again. Scottish supporters love going to a big competition; World Cups, Euros.
“We know how Scottish supporters have always been a credit to their country whenever they go anywhere. We want to get back to that.
“We feel we’ve got a group of players capable of that. Now we’ve got to get the best out of them.”
Tickets for the match are still available through public sale and can be purchased online or over the phone at 0844 875 1873.
Supporters will also be able to buy tickets on the day of the match from the ticket sales cabins at the corner of the West and William Hill South Stands.
Those looking to collect tickets on matchday can do so from 2pm at the Ticket Collection booths in the West Stand. Supporters are advised to collect their tickets as early as possible in order to avoid queues.
The Scottish FA is working with Citylink to run three dedicated bus services on matchday. These services will run from Aberdeen, Fife and Edinburgh to and from Hampden, with pick-up and drop-off points along the way.
Regular train services also run to and from Glasgow Central to Mount Florida (seven minutes walk from Hampden), Kings Park (12 mins) and Crosshill stations (13 mins).
Where to watch
The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, kick-off 7.45pm.
There will also be regular live updates on the official Scotland national team Twitter account, @ScotlandNT.