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Scotland v Spain: Caroline Weir says ticket row is 'behind us now' and 'we're ready to go'

Scotland's Erin Cuthbert, Lisa Evans and Caroline Weir
Caroline Weir (right) says the mood in the Scotland camp is good despite off-field issues

Caroline Weir believes Scotland can put internal wrangling behind them and make up for November’s 8-0 humiliation by Spain in Tuesday’s return tie.

The Manchester City winger was one of the players who tweeted a criticism of tickets sales by the Scottish FA for the Group B World Cup qualifier.

The governing body expressed its “disappointment” at its squad’s protest and defended its methods.

“I think that is behind us now – we’re ready to go,” Weir said.

“We’re fully focused on a massive game against Spain. The focus on the training pitch has been excellent. Events last weekend haven’t affected us from a player’s point of view.”

  • Scotland face Spain amid player frustration
  • What do home nations need to qualify?

Around 8,000 fans are expected at Hampden, which would be a record for Scotland in a competitive women’s international.

Scotland are the second-highest ranked side in their group behind runaway leaders Spain, who will secure top spot with victory at Hampden, but find themselves in a three-team tussle for the runners-up place and to qualify for a play-off spot.

With Thursday’s visit to fourth-placed Ukraine postponed until at least 24 June because of Russia’s invasion, Hungary moved to within a point of Pedro Martinez Losa’s second-top side after a 7-0 thumping of Faroe Islands.

Although the Scots have a game in hand over the Hungarians, they face a difficult task if they are to deny Spain a sixth consecutive group win when the world’s seventh-ranked team visit Glasgow considering the gulf between them last time round.

“It was a tough result, a low moment for me personally within the national team,” Weir said. “It’s not good enough to lose in that way.

“I think we learned a lot from that game. It feels like a long time ago, even though it was only November, but I feel like the squad is in a different place and I think, going into that game, we probably had a little bit too much fear, maybe too much respect for Spain.”

Scotland, currently 23rd in the world, have since suffered another disappointing defeat, 3-1 to lower-ranked Wales, in defence of the close-season Pinatar Cup before consolation wins over Slovakia and Hungary, the latter on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

“We know they’re a top side, there’s no doubt about that,” Weir said of Spain. “They’ve got some of the best players in the world and they’re a good side, but we need to be better, a little bit more aggressive and put them under more pressure, which we maybe didn’t do enough of in Spain.

“We’re confident we can go out there and challenge Spain and put a good performance on.”

Team news

Chelsea forward Erin Cuthbert returns from injury after missing Scotland’s unsuccessful defence of the Pinatar Cup.

The highly experienced Marta Corredera is still absent for Spain through pregnancy.

Meanwhile, two other midfielders, Real Madrid team-mate Marta Cardona and Barcelona’s Patricia Guijarro, plus Barca striker Mariona Caldentey, also miss this trip. Guijarro set up Caldentey for their second goal against Scotland last time before the latter laid on their eighth goal.

What do we know about Spain?

Under former youth team coach Jorge Vilda, Spain have risen from 14th in the world rankings in 2015 to seventh now.

His side are unbeaten in 20 games since a 1-0 reverse to world champions United States in March 2020 and won every match they played in 2021 without losing a goal.

They drew 1-1 with Germany and 0-0 with England before defeating Canada 1-0 as they finished runners-up in the close-season Arnold Clark Cup in February before warming up for Hampden with a 1-1 draw in a friendly with Brazil on Thursday. All top-10 sides.

Apart from Manchester United full-back Ona Batlle, it is a squad made up of players from European champions Barca and other clubs from Spain’s strong domestic league.

Alexia Putellas scored all three of Spain’s most recent goals to take her total to 26 in 97 internationals, while fellow Barcelona midfielder Aitana Bonmati is also a danger having scored twice against Scotland last time along with Amaiur Sarriegi, the 21-year-old Real Sociedad striker who has found the net 12 times in only 11 outings.

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