2 min: The dangerous Mudryk nearly breaks clear down the left. He’s forced to turn tail, just in time, by McTominay, but already the young winger has signalled his intentions.
Scotland kick off. Four Scotland players are one booking away from suspension, incidentally. Should Scott McTominay, Callum McGregor, Che Adams or Ryan Christie pick up a yellow, they’ll miss the match against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.
Before kick-off, a minute of applause in memory of Queen Elizabeth II. Warm applause, but also plenty of booing simmering away underneath it all. Each to their own, nobody’s under any obligation. Bodyswerving the silence probably the best idea the SFA have had in a while, mind.
The teams are out! A wonderful atmosphere at Hampden. Scotland wear their dark blue, while Ukraine are in their first-choice yellow. As they take to the pitch, each Ukrainian is draped in their national flag. Splendid renditions of both anthems. Flower of Scotland belted out with feeling, of course, but Ще не вмерла України і слава, і воля is also respectfully and warmly received. The glory and freedom of Ukraine has not yet perished. We’ll be off in a minute.
Steve Clarke talks to Premier Sports. “It’s always nice to play here, especially when you’ve got a full house. We’ve had some great nights here. Obviously a disappointing one in the summer, but tonight is about putting that right. We have to be mindful of the fact we had a good World Cup campaign. The disappointment was not finishing it off in the play-offs and getting to the World Cup. What we want to do now is get back to what we were good at before: an energetic team that creates chances and gets the crowd excited. Both teams are slightly different to the summer, but I’m sure it’ll be a good match. We’re going to have to be much better to get a result.”
Scotland coach Steve Clarke makes three changes to the starting XI named for the 4-1 victory in Armenia back in June. Kieran Tierney, Scott McKenna and Ryan Christie are in; they replace Grant Hanley, Greg Taylor and Billy Gilmour.
There’s no Oleksandr Zinchenko for Ukraine. The Arsenal and former Manchester City utility man is out with a calf problem. Mykhailo Mudryk, who scored for Shakhtar Donetsk against Celtic in the Champions League last week, will patrol the left flank.
Scotland: Gordon, Patterson, McTominay, Hendry, McKenna, Tierney, Armstrong, McGinn, McGregor, Christie, Adams.
Subs: Kelly, McCrorie, Taylor, Porteous, Dykes, Gilmour, Ralston, Fraser, Jack, Hickey, McLean.
Ukraine: Trubin, Karavaev, Matviyenko, Bondar, Mykhaylichenko, Stepanenko, Yarmolenko, Pikhalonok, Malinovskyi, Mudryk, Dovbyk.
Subs: Lunin, Riznyk, Kryvtsov, Sydorchuk, Yaremchuk, Kacharaba, Ihnatenko, Tsygankov, Mykolenko, Tymchyk, Zubkov.
Referee: Maurizio Mariani (Italy).
The last time these two countries met, three months and three weeks ago, this happened …
… after which Scotland embarked on their Nations League Group B1 campaign, home and away wins over Armenia sandwiching a 3-0 humping by the Republic of Ireland in Dublin. Steve Clarke’s team really need a payback victory over Ukraine tonight, if they’re to retain hope of winning the group, with the visit of Ireland and a trip to face the Ukrainians on neutral soil to come during this international break. Kick off at Hampden is 7.45pm BST. It’s on!