Scotland boss Craig Levein is convinced having skipper Darren Fletcher back and fighting fit will make all the difference against the Czech Republic this evening.
Because of a virus, Fletcher has played just two competitive games since March and has made just two appearances for Scotland this calendar year.
Scotland are currently 6/4 to win against the Czech’s – something they surely have to do if they are to have any chance of claiming the runners-up spot in Group I.
The inclusion of Fletcher may be viewed as a risk by some, but there’s no denying his experience could prove decisive in this vital clash against a side five points and a place ahead of the Scots having played one game more.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Levein said: “I have been assured by [Fletcher] and his club he is 100 per cent.
“On the evidence of training this week I can tell you that’s true. He has the experience at this level. Is he going to be fazed by playing a game at this level? Certainly not.
“I have absolutely no concerns whatsoever, in fact it’s a huge bonus for us to have Darren fit and available and ready to lead the team.”
This is the second time the sides have met in the group, with the Czech’s running out 1-0 winners in Prague 11 months ago.
It looks set to be just as tight this time out, with Scotland continuing to keep things tight at the back on home soil.
Scotland have conceded more than one goal on just one occasion during their previous 12 home games – and that was against Spain, which is pretty much par for the course.
With the Czechs not winning any of their last five away games, backing a Scotland win at 6/4 and under 2.5 goals at 1/2 look like the bets worth taking on.