The Scots came within 30 seconds of claiming a memorable victory over the Auld Enemy back in June.

Harry Kane snatched a 2-2 draw for Gareth Southgate's men at the death but since then Scotland have fired themselves back into contention for a play-off spot with victory over Lithuania and Malta.

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They now face a potentially decisive clash with the Slovakians at Hampden on October 5 and victory will set Gordon Strachan's men the simple task of beating Slovenia away from home three days later to ensure they finish as Group F's runners-up.

And the magnitude of the crunch clash is not lost on Hearts defender Berra.

The Jambos skipper said: "The England game was massive but in the grand scheme of things this Slovakia game is bigger.

"It could be to qualify or not to qualify and if we win that it will be massive for our confidence going to the last game against Slovenia.

"It will be difficult. Slovakia have some really good players who play for some top clubs in Europe but at the moment we are doing well and we need to take that momentum into games."

The Scots kept their bid on track with a straightforward 2-0 win over the Maltese in Glasgow.

Berra nodded his side in front after nine minutes before Leigh Griffiths buddled home the second four minutes after the interval.

But Strachan admitted suspension fears hampered his side's ability to reproduce their energetic Lithuania display against Malta.

The Scots put on one of their most impressive performances in recent memory as they cantered to victory in Vilnius but while they were never in trouble against Malta did not possess the same hungry look.

Strachan said: "We had 25 attempts at goal. That says it all. It's 48 in the last two games, so that's good enough to win games of football.

"The work that went in, the running off the ball, the bravery and 48 attempts at goal. That's not bad.

"We could have scored more goals tonight but we were a wee bit tired after Friday.

"But that was more than enough tonight. It got to the point where the boys just wanted to kill the game off and make sure we kept the ball.

"The [suspension issue] could have affected them at times, I think they were just making sure they were never getting involved in anything that might have given them a yellow card. I think that affected one or two tackles or when they went in for the ball. They were just making sure they weren't getting involved.

"They had to play really low tempo. I even asked them not to get excited with the referee or get a yellow card for anything. It had to be a bit more low tempo to make sure the guys got through that so that's a bonus as well."

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