Extra pressure as Scotland squad featuring Leeds United captain Liam Cooper prepare for second-string Czechs

BOSS Steve Clarke admits there will be increased pressure on Scotland when they take on a second-string Czech Republic outfit on Monday night.
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Whites captain Liam Cooper is part of Clarke's Scotland squad and the Leeds defender looked set for a quicker than expected return home after the Czech FA declared their second Nations League group fixture in Olomouc had been called off amid a coronavirus threat.

The announcement followed West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek and RB Leipzig striker Patrik Schick being told to self-isolate following contact with a backroom staff member who tested positive for the virus.

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However, UEFA then insisted that the match will go ahead and the Czechs have confirmed they will have "new players and staff members" for the visit of the Scots, who drew 1-1 with Israel at Hampden Park in their group opener.

WAITING IN THE WINGS: Leeds United captain Liam Cooper, centre, could be handed a third cap for Scotland against the Czech Republic on Monday night. Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images.WAITING IN THE WINGS: Leeds United captain Liam Cooper, centre, could be handed a third cap for Scotland against the Czech Republic on Monday night. Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images.
WAITING IN THE WINGS: Leeds United captain Liam Cooper, centre, could be handed a third cap for Scotland against the Czech Republic on Monday night. Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images.

Cooper was an unused substitute in the draw against Israel but Clarke has said there "will be some changes" in personnel and perhaps also a change in formation from the back three used on Friday night.

Asked about the idea that there is now more pressure on Scotland to return with all three points, Clarke said: "That's fine. If people want to say that, that's fine. We don't run away from that.

"But we will prepare properly for the game and prepare to play the best team the Czech Republic can put out there and be ready to go.

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"The important thing is we drew at home to Israel and we want to win the next game, so we will be ready for that one

"It is the same build-up for us.

"Obviously it will be a new-look Czech Republic team. We have a list of names that I believe is the official squad and myself and the analysts are working our way through so we know what position they play in and how they are.

"It is very easy to find footage because they all play in the top league in the Czech Republic so it's all out there in a variety of different platforms on the internet. So it's quite easy to get access to football from all over the world, which is great.

"What I will say is they will be a good level because they are playing in the top flight in the Czech Republic, which is a good level.

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"If you were going as a club team from Britain to play a team from the Czech Republic you would expect a tough game, so we expect a tough game."

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Thank you Laura Collins