Stuart Armstrong admits expectation has grown Scotland can beat weakened Czechs

Stuart Armstrong admits increased expectation of a Scotland win against a second-string Czech Republic side on Monday night is understandable.

Following their 3-1 Nations League away win over Slovakia on Friday night, the Czech FA declared their second group fixture in Olomouc had been called off amid a coronavirus threat.

This followed midfielder Tomas Soucek and striker Patrik Schick being told to self-isolate following contact with a backroom staff member who tested positive for the virus.

Stuart Armstrong believes Scotland face increased expectations against a weakened Czech Republic team
Stuart Armstrong believes Scotland face increased expectations against a weakened Czech Republic team (Adam Davy/PA)

However, UEFA insisted that the match will go ahead and the Czechs confirmed that they will have “new players and staff members” for the visit of Steve Clarke’s side.

The Southampton midfielder, who is hoping to start after coming on as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against Israel at Hampden Park on Friday night, said: “I think there’s always expectation on us.

“Now they’re not fielding their strongest team, so to speak, the expectation will be greater, that’s natural. But we always have expectation on ourselves. So we’ll be looking to fulfil that when we go over there.

“We go into every game wanting to win and certainly, with the quality within the squad, we feel that we’re capable of producing good results. And we’re building up to do that and hopefully, we can over the next couple of months.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke is peparing his players to face a unique situation in the Czech Republic
Scotland manager Steve Clarke is peparing his players to face a unique situation in the Czech Republic (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“There’s always expectation on us to do well and we always feel pressure going into games because we want to do well for the country and want to do well for ourselves and the team and so we’ll be looking for that to happen as we always do.”

Clarke added: “We have a unique situation and everybody has to react to it. Maybe it won’t be the last time it happens.

“I am guessing but if you look at the cases all over the world and I can’t believe the Czech Republic will be the only camp that comes up with a positive covid test at some time.

“We have to be prepared for future outbreaks within camps and how people deal with that. The game is going ahead and I will prepare as well as I can.”

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