Scotland v Argentina preview
Scotland will be seeking a famous victory against Diego Maradona's Argentina at Hampden Park.
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 19/11/08 7:29pm
Scotland will be seeking a famous victory against Diego Maradona's Argentina at Hampden Park, in a match which can be seen live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1.
The presence of Maradona in the Argentine dugout has added further excitement to an already intriguing and glamorous fixture, but both sides will be more concerned about turning in good performances after mixed recent results.
Scotland are currently second in World Cup qualifying Group 9 despite picking up just four points from three games, and they were held to a goalless draw by Norway last time out.
They do not play another competitive match until the spring but manager George Burley will want to see signs of improvement on Wednesday.
The Scotland manager has been under pressure of late and will be desperate to keep the critics at bay, but his preparations have been hit by a number of withdrawals.
Craig Gordon, Kenny Miller, Darren Fletcher, Steven Fletcher, James
Morrison and Ross McCormack have all been forced to pull out through injury.
To make matters worse, Burley has suffered a fresh blow ahead of kick-off with Barry Robson out of contention after feeling tightness in his groin.
Robson had been expected to line up in midfield alongside Celtic team-mate Scott Brown and the returning Barry Ferguson, with Shaun Maloney and James McFadden providing support for Chris Iwelumo in attack.
Allan McGregor is set to start in goal and will be shielded by a back four of Kirk Broadfoot, Gary Caldwell, Stephen McManus and Gary Naysmith.
Alan Hutton will be hoping to feature after returning to the squad following injury, while Aberdeen forward Lee Miller and Dundee United midfielder Scott Robertson are also available after receiving late call-ups earlier this week.
First game in charge
The build-up to the game has of course been dominated by one man, with Maradona poised to take charge of his national team for the first time.
Maradona, who has limited coaching experience, was officially appointed earlier this month following the resignation of Alfio Basile.
The Argentine Football Association's decision has proved popular with the public thanks to Maradona's heroics as a player, while he has also been warmly welcomed in Scotland after single-handedly knocking England out of the World Cup quarter-finals in 1986.
Scotland assistant manager and former England player Terry Butcher has refused to forgive Maradona but the new Argentina boss has shrugged off the row.
Maradona is staying focused on the match and has called on his players to show what they can do, with Argentina currently third in the South American World Cup qualifying zone and still with a lot of work to do to advance to the 2010 tournament.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi is missing for the visitors after being allowed to play at the Olympic Games, while Sergio Aguero has also returned to Spain to be with his pregnant girlfriend.
Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano will captain Argentina, while Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez and Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez are also set to feature in a strong side.