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Scottish Licensed Trade News

World Cup crunch for Scotland

Man playing golf

AFTER a tumultuous World Cup qualifying campaign, Scotland find themselves still able to qualify for their first major international tournament in a generation.

It is, of course, a damning indictment of the national team’s performance over the last two decades that many who will be cheering them on in their double header against Slovakia and Slovenia weren’t alive when then manager Craig Brown led the Tartan Army to France in 1998.

Regardless, two victories in those fixtures will see Scotland enter the final play-off qualification stage for next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

While the games could go either way for Gordon Strachan’s men, the Scottish on-trade’s result is altogether more  assured with punters likely to frequent their locals and cheer on the country’s best.

And while the final qualifiers for European sides will be passionately followed, there’s club action to enjoy too over the next fortnight – both north and south of the border – with Rangers travelling to Hamilton (September 29) and Chelsea hosting Manchester City at Stamford Bridge a day later.

Away from football, the British Masters will pique the interest of golf lovers as big figures from the sport, including Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston and Sergio Garcia, descend on Close House for the four-day event.

• ‘Beef’ Johnston will play in British Masters.

See page 12 of SLTN 28 Sept