Scotland players edge ahead in combined XI with Wales before crucial World Cup qualifiers

Scottish players get their noses in front as Planet Sport selects a combined Wales/Scotland international XI. But only just...

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale is one of five Welsh players who makes our combined Scotland and Wales team ahead of their possible World Cup qualifier final. All Scotland have to do now is overcome Ukraine in the semis on Wednesday night.

Wales await the winners of the Scotland vs Ukraine tie in their rearranged fixture at Hampden Park, with the eventual victors going to the 2022 Qatar World Cup to compete in Group B with England, Iran and USA at the end of the year.

Ahead of a potential Home Nations face-off for a spot at the World Cup, Planet Sport have picked a combined Wales and Scotland XI, and the Scots just edge ahead...but only just.

Goalkeeper - Craig Gordon (Scotland)

A tough decision to start off, with both first-choice keepers being firm favourites for their respective nations.

Wayne Hennesey and Craig Gordon are two experienced men between the sticks, with Burnley keeper Hennesey now 35 and reaching the milestone of a century of caps.

Hearts' 39-year-old keeper Gordon has 66 caps but has the edge as we'd want our keeper to be playing week in, week out for their club side.

Plus Gordon has experience of saving important penalties in qualifiers...even though he's not usually known for spot-kick prowess.

Right-back - Neco Williams (Wales)

Employing a 4-3-3 formation, we've gone for a Liverpool player who won a title this year - albeit in the Championship with Fulham.

The on loan Liverpool right-back would surely be staking a claim to be the Anfield club's first-choice right-sided defender if a certain Trent Alexander-Arnold hadn't already made that position his own.

Nevertheless, Williams looks set for plenty of Premier League exposure next season, with the Cottagers poised to sign him permanently.

Still only 21 years of age, Williams should cement himself in the Wales side for many years to come.

Centre-back - Joe Rodon (Wales)

The talented defender has found himself out of favour under Nuno Espirito Santo and latterly Antonio Conte at Tottenham, amassing only 86 minutes of Premier League action.

A product of Swansea's academy, centre-back Rodon signed for Tottenham in 2020 for a fee of around £11 million and has played 90 professional club games, but he is yet to score a goal.

Despite only limited opportunities at club level, Rodon has been a regular in Wales' defence and a major influence on their World Cup journey.

Grant Hanley (Scotland)

A rock at the back who always gives 100%, Hanley is a no-nonsense defender who is much loved by Scotland fans.

Hanley's season at club level ended in disappointment as the side he captains, Norwich City, were relegated from the Premier League.

However, Hanley, who has been capped for his country 42 times since making his debut in 2011, would be the ideal foil for a ball-playing defender such as Rodon.

Left-back - Andrew Robertson (Scotland)

Liverpool's Andrew Robertson

Bit of a no brainer this one. The first-choice Liverpool defender and Scotland captain is probably the first name on the team sheet.

A narrow loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League final will have been hard to take, but Robertson has little time to nurse his wounds with the chance to help his national team to their first World Cup appearance since 1998.

The defender has firmly established himself as one of the best in the world, with his incredible energy and ability on and off the ball bringing a new definition to the role of a modern day full-back.

Midfield - Scott McTominay (Scotland)

Although born in England, Scott McTominay is eligible to play for the national side on account of his Scottish father. Besides, Scott McTominay is up there with the most Scottish sounding names ever.

After emerging from United's youth academy, McTominay made his Manchester United bow five years ago against Arsenal.

The joint-tallest player in this XI alongside Rodon, McTominay is a commanding central midfielder, although he perhaps hasn't lived up to his potential yet for United.

At international level, McTominay has been asked to fill in at right-back and centre-back and has not looked out of place. His versatility could prove vital for this XI if a tactical tweak is required.

Midfield - Aaron Ramsey (Wales)

Ramsey was on loan to Rangers from Juventus, for the second half of the the 2021/22 season, but that is where the former Arsenal player's alliance to the Tartan Army ends.

The talented central midfielder has endured a tough season, playing just five times for Juventus before joining Rangers in January.

He featured 13 times for the Gers, including in the Europa League final, but his missed penalty in the shootout handed glory to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Ramsey is influential for Wales, driving the team around the pitch with his enthusiasm and energy, which is just what we're looking for in the middle of the park.

Midfield - John McGinn (Scotland)

Scotland's John McGinn

Energy personified on the football pitch, John McGinn's style of play and will to win has endeared him to Aston Villa and Scotland fans alike.

Equally capable going forward or having to do the dirty work in midfield, McGinn has earned plenty of admirers since his move from Scottish outfit Hibernian to England's second city in 2018.

Picked up for less than £3million, Villa found themselves an absolute bargain in the left-footed player who has already racked up 147 appearances for the Midlands club.

With McTominay sitting in front of the defence, it would allow Ramsey and McGinn to provide an attacking threat in this hypothetical line-up.

Right-wing - Harry Wilson (Wales)

Wilson, like Neco Williams, played his club football this season for Championship title winners Fulham.

Although Aleksandar Mitrovic stole the limelight with 43 goals in 44 matches, Wilson still contributed with 10 goals and an astonishing 20 assists, predominantly from a right-wing position which is where he would be playing in this team.

At 16 years and 207 days, Wilson became the youngest player to represent Wales and it is a record that still stands almost a decade later.

Since that debut in 2013, the set-piece specialist has played 34 times for his country of birth, scoring on five occasions.

Centre-forward - Che Adams (Scotland)

Adams had the option of playing for England or Antrigua and Barbuda, but he decided to represent the country that his maternal grandmother hails from.

He cited the chance of playing at Euro 2020 as the reason behind his choice and a few months prior to the tournament he earned his first caps for the Tartan Army.

At club level, Adams has played professionally for Sheffield United and Birmingham before moving to Premier League side Southampton for a fee of £15million in the summer of 2019.

In 96 top-flight matches, the striker has scored 20 goals and registered a further 11 assists to his name.

His most memorable goal for the Saints came via an ambitious lob against Manchester City that earned his team all three points.

Left-wing - Gareth Bale (Wales)

In his prime, Gareth Bale was a world-beater and although he's been unable to showcase this successfully at Real Madrid in recent seasons, he can still produce world class moments for Wales.

That was highlighted in the last international break, with the 32-year-old scoring both goals for his country in a crunch match versus Austria in March.

He's certainly not suffering burnout following a season in which he only played 290 minutes for the European champions.

A possible move to Cardiff City beckons but before that a crucial role in our combined Scotland-Wales XI. We'll even make him captain.

Latest news