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Will Scotland’s remarkable start to Euro 2024 qualification continue?
On Saturday evening, the Tartan Army were out in force in Oslo as their team took on Norway in a potentially pivotal fixture.
However, it looked to be ending in defeat for the away side, when Norway were awarded a very soft penalty on the hour mark that Erling Håland fired past Angus Gunn.
What was to follow though will go down in Scottish football folk-law for ever.
With just three minutes to play, Lyndon Dykes poked home an equaliser before, less than 20 seconds after the restart, a free-flowing move snatched victory.
Scott McTominay switched play to John McGinn, he played a first-time pass into Dykes, who laid it off for Kenny McLean to side-foot home, completing the astonishing turnaround.
That 2-1 victory at Ullevål means the Dark Blues have maximum points after three games, having beaten Cyprus 3-0 in March and then upset the odds to defeat Spain 2-0 in Glasgow three days later.
This is the first time the Tartan Army have began a qualification campaign with three successive wins since Euro 2008 qualifying, a cycle that was derailed by a certain Georgia back then.
It’s also just the second time Scotland have won an international when trailing in the 80th minute, the other coming at the Kennington Oval against England in April 1889, that’s 134 years ago!
So now, can Steve Clarke’s team take another gigantic step towards Germany 2024, as the Dark Blues seek to win their first four qualifiers of a campaign for the first time ever?
Georgia though certainly will not be taken lightly, having ended Scotland’s hopes of reaching the Euros in 2008 and 2016 by beating the Tartan Army both time.
Right now, the Crusaders are unbeaten in Group A as they seek to qualify for a major tournament for the first time ever.
Back in March, they held Norway to a 1-1 draw in Batumi, thanks to Georges Mikautadze’s equaliser.
Then, on Saturday night, Willy Sagnol’s team battled to a 2-1 victory in Cyprus, with Mikautadze on target again, punishing some lackadaisical defending, before Zuriko Davitashvili snatched the winner.
Georgia were beaten by North Macedonia in the Euro 2020 play-offs and are guaranteed a play-off place in March once again, should they fail to take a top two spot in this group.
Away from home however, they’ve won only three of their last 37 qualifiers, these wins coming in Kosovo and Gibraltar, a run that dates back 17 years.
So, it certainly won’t be easy, but Scotland will fancy their chances of claiming an historic win at Hampden.
Scotland team news
Kieran Tierney hobbled off in the second half in Oslo, making him a doubt for this crunch game, with Liam Cooper set to deputise if the Arsenal defender isn’t fit.
Goalkeeper Angus Gunn may have conceded for the first time in a Scotland jersey at the weekend, but his 100% win ratio continues.
Scott McTominay bagged a brace against both Cyprus and Spain in March, so is set to remain alongside Callum McGregor in midfield.
With Ché Adams injured, Lyndon Dykes will lead the line, with Kevin Nisbet and Lawrence Shankland the other options.
Dominic Hyam came off the bench for his international debut on Saturday, hoping to sample Hampden for the first time here.
Georgia team news
Georgia’s talisman is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who scored 14 goals for Napoli this season, helping them win their first Scudetto since 1990.
At international level, Kvaradona has scored ten times in just 21 appearances, all coming in competitive fixtures.
Valencia’s Giorgi Mamardashvili will win just his ninth cap in goal, while Georges Mikautadze has scored in both Euro 2024 qualifiers so far.
Their last visit to Hampden came in 2014, beaten 1-0, with goalkeeper Giorgi Loria and defender Solomon Kvirkvelia, both of whom will be substitutes, the only players still around of those who featured back then.