Slovakia and Scotland in fight for second place - Lubo Moravcik

Lubo Moravcik (centre) played in Scotland for Celtic
Lubo Moravcik (centre) played in Scotland for Celtic

Former Celtic favourite Lubomir Moravcik expects Scotland and Slovakia to be fighting for the play-off spot in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

The two countries were drawn together in Group F along with England, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta.

Moravcik, who spent four years at Celtic between 1998 and 2002, is confident England will win the group.

"England are number one and Slovakia and Scotland will be very close," Moravcik told BBC Scotland.

Slovakia top their qualifying group for Euro 2016, with six wins out of six in a group containing Spain and Ukraine.

"Slovakia is now on good form," he said. "England are the only team who have won all games in the European qualification.

"What's very important is Slovakia have a good coach. This team is still young and very strong, with two special players. (Martin) Skrtel as captain, and (Marek) Hamsik as one of the best players in Italy.

"We have very technically good players. Maybe the one thing that is not the strong point of the team we don't have a top striker, but (Adam) Nemec has gone to America and if he plays regularly there maybe he will be the guy who plays up front.

"The team is very confident, and with only four games left I would say we are 99% now in France [for the 2016 European Championships]."

Wayne Rooney (left) and Martin Skrtel faced each other when England and Slovakia met in a 2009 friendly
Wayne Rooney (left) and Martin Skrtel faced each other when England and Slovakia met in a 2009 friendly

Scotland and Slovakia have never met in an international, however England defeated the Slovaks 4-0 in a friendly as recently as 2009.

"We will wait for two strong teams in England and Scotland," added Moravcik, capped 38 times.

"We have a new national stadium which now holds 20,000 which is better as before we only had a small stadium.

"In football everything is possible, Slovakia recently beat Spain 2-1.

"I think England are favourites because English football is very strong. Scotland are doing better. The other countries are dangerous, but Slovakia v Scotland will be the fight for second place."

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