Fródi Benjaminsen's return from suspension has given the Faroe Islands a selection headache as Scotland prepare to revisit the scene of a famous debacle.
'Hiding to nothing'
As Scotland prepare to take on the Faroese, minds will be racing back to September 2002 when, under the leadership of Berti Vogts, they barely escaped from the Toftir Stadium with a 2-2 draw. Prior to that, Scotland also faced the Faroes in UEFA EURO 2000™ qualifying, and were held to a 1-1 draw under Craig Brown, again in Toftir. The only two members of the Scotland squad to have played in 2002, Barry Ferguson and David Weir, have been keeping tight-lipped about their previous trip. Winger Gary Teale said: "We've heard a few bits but everybody knows that once you go out there, you're on a hiding to nothing."
A 6-0 home win in their most recent meeting with Jógvan Martin Olsen's side will have steadied Scottish nerves, but the Faroe Islands may feel that another shock result is on the cards after giving world champions Italy a nasty scare on Saturday. Filippo Inzaghi had struck in either half to give Italy a 2-0 lead only for Rógvi Jacobsen to pull one back and set up a tense finale. With influential midfielder Benjaminsen available again after serving a suspension against Italy, Olsen must now decide whether or not to shuffle his pack as the side seek a first qualifying point. "After the effort they put in on Saturday I cannot tell Súni Olsen or Mikkjal Thomassen that they are on the bench," he said.
Olsen has said that he sees 29-year-old B36 Tórshavn player Benjaminsen as a future central defensive lynchpin, although he generally plays in midfield. He may yet be deployed alongside captain Óli Johannesen in defence against Scotland with Jón Rói Jacobsen, who was paired with Johannesen against Italy, reverting to left-back - his position with Danish side Aalborg BK. "I won't decide until Wednesday," warned Olsen. "It depends how the players recover as they put in an amazing physical effort against Italy." Benjaminsen, meanwhile, is waiting in the wings. "It was great how the team played on Saturday," he said. "However, this is a new match and I hope the coach will find a place for me."
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