Gareth Bale appears set to start in Wales’s World Cup qualifier with Scotland after struggling for much of the week with an ankle knock and a virus.
The match at Glasgow’s Hampden Park features the two sides propping up Group A, with Scotland on just two points from their four games and Wales on three—coming courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Friday’s opponents last October.
Bale got both goals that night in Glasgow and his spectacular recent form for Tottenham has understandably seen him identified as the main threat.
Dundee manager John Brown sparked controversy with his answer to how to stop Bale, however, when he commented that “You can’t run without legs.”
Understandably, Wales boss Chris Coleman was unimpressed with those remarks.
"If that's what's going to come, I'm quite sure the referee will be doing a good job," Coleman said, according to BBC Sport. "If we have to play against 10 men or nine men, that's not our problem.
"You can't do that now because the game's evolved and moved on,” he added. “That's yesteryear thinking.”
Coleman has other worries, though, with the former Fulham boss under pressure to show some signs of progress after a 6-1 defeat in Serbia and a 2-0 home loss to Belgium.
On the other bench, Gordon Strachan will be leading out Scotland for the first time in a competitive fixture. The former Celtic boss oversaw last month’s 1-0 friendly victory over Estonia. Strachan will be without James Morrison, Ross McCormack, James Forrest and Danny Fox through injury.
D: Hutton, Caldwell, Mulgrew
M: McArthur, Adam
Burke, Naismith, Commons
D: Gunter, Williams, Collins, Davies
M: Collison, Ramsey, Ledley
F: Robson-Kanu, Bellamy, Bale
Betting Odds: Scotland are 19/20 with Bet 365 to pick up the three points, with a draw priced at 13/5 and a Wales win at 10/3.
Prediction: Both sides hopes of qualifying for next year’s World Cup may have realistically already ended, but they will still be desperate to get a morale-boosting victory. With Scotland able to concentrate their attention on stopping Bale, who may well not be at his best, Strachan should secure at least a point.
Scotland 1-1 Wales
Where to watch: The World Cup qualifier will kick-off at 4 p.m. ET. A live stream will be provided by ESPN3.