McCann: Snodgrass can become Scotland's Wembley wizard

By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland
Scotland midfielder Robert Snodgrass
Robert Snodgrass has recovered from an ankle injury and is fit to play against England
World Cup Qualifying Group F: England v Scotland
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Friday, 11 November Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Scotland & BBC Sport app; live text commentary on BBC Sport website & app

Former Scotland winger Neil McCann believes Robert Snodgrass can be a match-winner against England.

The Hull midfielder scored on his return from injury on Sunday and is fit for Friday's World Cup qualifier.

McCann does not expect Scotland to take an attacking approach, but earmarks Snodgrass as a major threat.

"If we can get Snoddy into the final third then I'm sure he can come up with some magic that can get us a result," McCann said.

"Snodgrass has been a big player for Hull this season and he's probably come back a bit early from the ankle injury, which is great for us.

"He didn't have the best game in the last game for Scotland, but scoring and assisting at the weekend will lift his confidence."

As well as identifying Snodgrass as Scotland's creative figure, McCann says that the major decision for Gordon Strachan is who to select up front.

If the national team manager opts for either Fulham's Chris Martin or Sheffield Wednesday's Steven Fletcher, rather than Celtic's Leigh Griffiths, it will indicate that he is favouring a more physical approach.

McCann, who made 26 appearances for Scotland, would have no qualms if Griffiths was selected in the starting line-up, because he carries a goal threat.

"Gordon has got a big decision up top and, the way the group's going, with England slipping up, it might change his thought process," McCann said.

"England are without doubt the strongest team in the group, but they're stuttering a bit.

"He might go with Chris Martin again, or Steven Fletcher, which would mean Leigh Griffiths doesn't get the number nine jersey.

"If Leigh Griffiths is given the starting jersey then I wouldn't have any fears.

"He's led the line for Celtic, he's had to take a watching brief while Moussa Dembele smashes the goals in, then starts at the weekend and scores.

Scotland striker Leigh Griffiths
Will Leigh Griffiths find himself on the bench again for Scotland at Wembley?

"But the other two bring a physical aspect that Griff maybe can't offer. That might just be an approach that Gordon wants to take."

McCann played an integral role when Scotland defeated England 1-0 at Wembley in 1999, the last competitive meeting between the two sides, with the winger crossing for Don Hutchison to score the decisive goal.

He recalls a physically aggressive contest and believes there are similarities for Scotland ahead of this tie, since England are widely expected to be too strong for Strachan's side.

"When you look at their team on paper, as well England's in this game, there are a lot of similarities," said McCann, who was speaking at the launch of North Lanarkshire's Sporting Hall of Fame at Ravenscraig.

"When we went to Wembley, I remember Paul Ince putting in a heavy tackle on me and, before I could get up to have a word with him, he'd already been grabbed by two of our boys.

"That was very early on in the match, so there was the intention that we weren't going there to be intimidated but to lay down a marker that we were right up for it and had the tools to match them physically but also to play well enough to get a win."

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