Scotland’s World Cup qualifying bid gets under way tonight and it feels like there is a genuine sense of optimism about this campaign.
With the burden of not qualifying for a major tournament since 1998 now lifted as a result of reaching the European Championships this summer, the opportunity is now there for the national team to show we can be tournament regulars again.
The Group F draw for Qatar 2022 has also been pretty favourable for Steve Clarke’s men.
Denmark as top seeds are still very tough opponents who start as favourites to win the section, however, they are not a superpower of European football like France, Germany, Belgium or Spain.
Austria are second seeds and the opponents at Hampden this evening.
In a bid to get into the top two in the group, a win would be the ideal start for Scotland, but a draw at the very least is required to ensure the Dark Blues are not playing catch-up before the section has truly started.
On Sunday, the Scots tackle Israel in Tel Aviv before finishing off this triple-header against the Faroe Islands at Hampden on Wednesday.
Moldova are the other side in the group and, although it’s never usually plain-sailing for Scotland, 18 points from the six games against Israel, the Faroes and Moldova is surely a must to have the best chance of reaching Qatar.