Scotland v Lithuania: Robert Snodgrass influence is key - Ikechi Anya

Ikechi Anya made his Scotland debut in 2013, replacing Robert Snodgrass
Anya (right) made his Scotland debut in 2013, replacing Snodgrass at Hampden
World Cup qualifying Group F: Scotland v Lithuania
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Saturday, 8 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland, BBC 5 live, BBC Sport website & app

The return of Robert Snodgrass has given the Scotland squad a huge lift, says team-mate Ikechi Anya.

Snodgrass missed the unsuccessful Euro 2016 campaign as he spent 15 months recovering from a knee injury.

And the Hull City midfielder marked his return to competitive international duty with a hat-trick in a 5-1 win over Malta last month.

"He is such a positive influence on the group," said Anya ahead of Saturday's World Cup qualifier with Lithuania.

"It was devastating for him personally when he got such a bad knee injury. But you can see what he brings to the team and, against Malta, it looked like he was making up for lost time.

"He is always buzzing."

Scotland top Group F after the win in Malta, with England also picking up maximum points on the opening weekend.

Lithuania visit Hampden at the weekend, with a trip to Slovakia, the section's second seeds, on Tuesday.

"We know the type of joy it can bring to a nation if we qualify for Russia, we know how happy the whole country will be," added Anya, who won his 22nd cap as a late substitute in Malta.

"I felt the last campaign came down to a few minor details but we are full of optimism and everyone is ready to go.

"We showed when it went to 1-1 in Malta that we had a good mentality to come through that and go on to score five goals.

"We are all here to represent our country. If you are not one of the lucky ones who gets picked, you can still support from the bench or the stands. Enthusiasm is contagious and if you are moping around, the gaffer is not going to call you up."

Scotland midfielder James Morrison
Morrison has been used sparingly by West Brom this season

James Morrison was an unused substitute against Malta and may find himself on the bench again on Saturday, given the little playing time he has had at West Brom.

The 30-year-old with 41 caps has been reduced to four Premier League replacement appearances for his club this season.

"It has been a long time and there is a bit of frustration," said the midfielder. "I have just been waiting for my chance and trying to take it and get back involved with Scotland.

"I think I am ready. I am just waiting. But Baz [Barry Bannan] did really well in the first game and I am pleased for him - he is one of my good pals.

"After scoring give goals in the last game, obviously we have got to be confident. Lithuania is one we will be looking to win. I think we are the favourites and we have a positive mentality going it, thinking we are going to win.

"Slovakia, we know is going to be a lot tougher. It would be great if we could make a statement in the group and win away against one of our rivals."

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