It really does look like a nice day in Nicosia, so no one can complain about the conditions.
This chap will be a miss today.
And if you want some other relatable Euro 2020 news. I spoke to Finland’s captain, Tim Sparv, before their historic qualification. If you change the tenses in your mind, it still makes a lot of sense.
I have been brought in for this MBM due to my in-depth knowledge of Cypriot football. Earlier this year I spoke to their centre-back Nicholas Ioannou. His mum is from Norwich! Aha!
Second to reach a milestone is Steven Naismith who is notching his 50th cap. The forward joined Hearts in the summer after leaving Norwich, despite having offers from abroad, and has put himself firmly in Steve Clarke’s plans. “The biggest thing playing in Scotland does is put you in the limelight with the coverage,” Naismith said.
“It was part of my decision. If I was to go abroad and choose one of the offers further afield then that would have probably suggested I would not earn more caps, but I didn’t want to give up on that.”
There are a couple of milestones in the Scotland team today. Declan Gallagher is earning his first cap in defence. It’s been a long road for the Motherwell centre-back who was sentenced to three years in prison in 2015 for his involvement in an assault which left the victim with a fractured skull. He left prison after 16 months of his sentence and joined Livingston, impressing there before joining Motherwell where he has continued his fine form.
Former Scotland international Dominic Matteo is in hospital after undergoing surgery on a brain tumour. Get well soon, Dom!
Cyprus: Urko Pardo; Karo, Merkis, Kousoulos, Ioannou; Efrem, Demetriou; Kyriakou, Costi, Papoulis; Sotiriou
Scotland: Marshall; Palmer, Jack, Gallagher, Taylor; McGregor, McKenna, McGinn; Christie, Naismith, Forrest.
Good afternoon! Roughly 73,629 players have dropped out of this Scotland squad, with Brian McClair and Gary McAllister on standby.
Under Steve Clarke, Scotland have won just twice in his six games in charge. Seeing as qualifying from the group is out of the window, today is all about showing they have somehow improved since he took over.
Without Andy Robertson, Scott McTominay and Ryan Fraser the task is all the more difficult. Cyprus are one place above them the group and can even boast a positive goal difference in the group, so overhauling them with a victory would be a great boon to a team heading towards a March playoff.
It’s currently 24C in Nicosia, so at least it’s a nice November away day.
Let’s just hope it’s an enjoyable watch for all!
Kick-off: 2pm GMT