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Hanley expects a difficult task

Posted: Tue 15 Oct 2013
Author: rovers.co.uk
Grant Hanley

Grant Hanley

Image by: Action Images

Grant Hanley is aiming to make it an unlikely double when Scotland take on Croatia at Hampden this evening.

The Rovers defender was involved the last time the two sides met back in June, as the Scots shocked their hosts in Zagreb thanks to a first half goal from Norwich City's Robert Snodgrass.

The two sides meet once more in Glasgow tonight as the final World Cup qualifiers take place. Scotland's hopes of reaching Brazil ended long before that summer victory, whilst Croatia are secure in their second place group finish and will contest next month's play-offs.

"It was a great result for us off the back of a couple of disappointing ones before that," Hanley told ScottishFA.com.

"They were ranked fourth in the world at the time so to go there and get anything, especially in the middle of the summer when the boys were supposed to be on holiday, was a great result for us."

Hanley will earn his 11th cap for Scotland if, as expected, he features at Hampden.

"We know they are up there," added the defender. "They are one of the best around so it is going to be very difficult.

"It was difficult out there as well, but we showed that we could handle it, so I think that we just have to look forward to it and be confident."

Team-mate for club and country, Jordan Rhodes, misses out through injury.

Elsewhere Josh King will be hoping to play some part in Norway's Oslo clash with Iceland.

A 3-0 defeat to Slovakia last time out means Norway have failed to reach next summer's finals but will be out to prevent second placed Iceland from doing so.

Corry Evans wasn't involved as Northern Ireland lost 2-0 to Azerbaijan in Baku on Friday night but could come into contention this evening against Israel in Tel Aviv.

Anthony O'Connor is with the Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad that face Romania in Sligo later today.