Sheffield Wednesday: Owls strike pair in battle to lead line for Scotland

Sheffield Wednesday forwards Jordan Rhodes and Steven Fletcher are fighting for a place in the side to face Slovenia tomorrow with Gordon Strachan admitting he wasn't sure who he would play up front.

Saturday, 25th March 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 9:30 pm
Scotland's Jordan Rhodes (left) and Canada's Scott Arfield battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at Easter Road

Rhodes got 30 minutes of game-time against Canada in the 1-1 friendly draw at Easter Road on Wednesday night while Fletcher, a favourite of Strachan’s was kept on the bench.

Steven Naismith and Chris Martin started in forward positions while Leigh Griffiths joined Rhodes in attack in the second half and the two Owls players have been in Strachan’s thoughts all week.

Canada's Scott Arfield embraces Scotland's Steven Fletcher after the International Friendly match at Easter Road

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It would be no surprise to see Fletcher played as the lone frontman, but the under pressure manager admitted that it could be two up front, a tactic he doesn’t normally use.

Scotland need a win against the second-placed side - England are top - or their chances of qualifying for the World Cup could come to an end.

Strachan said: “There has to be a striker who says ‘pick me.’ There has to be one who says ‘I’m your one, it has to be me,’ but it might be we play two strikers. It’s something we’ve got to look at. But, for the game, somebody has to come to the fore and lead us. They need to lead the line and bring others into play.

“I have had to think about who do I think is the best striker, maybe two, to play with the rest of the team

Canada's Scott Arfield embraces Scotland's Steven Fletcher after the International Friendly match at Easter Road

“That’s who I am going to pick. Who is compatible with the rest of the players?

“I have a real good idea about the rest of the players that are going to be playing but he needs to be compatible.

“I had a look at two up front but the conditions were not great. There was no adrenaline against Canada but there will be against Slovenia and that will help us through.

“Management at club level is all about recruitment and make sure you get the right people in and this one here is about picking the right people on the day. I have got to back myself and make that call.”

Meanwhile, Atdhe Nuhiu scored on his Kosovo debut but his side went down 2-1 to Iceland in Albania.

Fellow striker George Hirst scored in England under 18s 2-1 win over Qatar.