Berra: Pressure is on Czechs
Craig Levein's men beat Liechtenstein 1-0 in Vaduz on Saturday night to go one point clear in second place of the Czechs, who are in Lithuania at the same time the Scots play pool winners Spain in Alicante. Technically, Scotland have their fate in their own hands but the odds are against them beating the world and European champions, who have won seven out of seven qualifiers, and defeat means the Czechs would need only a draw to secure a play-off spot. However, Wolves defender Berra reckons it is not the Scots who will be feeling the heat. "It's not an easy game for the Czechs. Lithuania have beaten them already in this campaign," he said. "We have the points on the board just now so the pressure is on them really - they are the ones who need to get a win or at least a draw. "It will be a funny game (in Lithuania). There probably won't be much of an atmosphere. It is not a great stadium and the pitch won't be the greatest so anything can happen. "We are not expected to win against Spain. If we get anything out of the game it would be a big upset really. "You have to be professional and try to go out there and take care of ourselves and the Lithuania and Czech game will take care of itself." Berra's attempt to switch the focus onto the Czechs is understandable considering his belief that Levein's side will be taking on one of the best international sides of all time. "They are probably one of the best international teams ever. I don't think there has been any better," said the former Hearts defender. "They have won the European Championships and the World Cup so not many teams in history have been better than this Spanish team. "I don't think you will get any bigger a game and it won't get any tougher as well - the World Cup winners at their place with a full stadium. "There will be a lot of Scots there so it will be a great atmosphere and any player would relish that." Berra does not count himself among those who feel Chelsea's Spain striker Fernando Torres is off the boil at the moment - but admits the Spanish are spoiled for choice when it comes to quality players. "I've played against players like Torres and David Silva but no matter which players they field, they are world-class players," he said. "There has been a lot of focus on Torres but I think the media has over-inflated their criticism of him. "I know he got sent off recently but if you have watched his last two or three games he has been unlucky not to have scored more than he has, so he will be a big, big threat. "You just look at his scoring record alone - there is not many better. "Whether it is him or David Silva or whoever, they are going to be a threat but not just their forwards - the midfielders will be a threat as well. "There wont be any tougher game than playing against the world champions." Levein is sweating over the fitness of midfielder Barry Bannan, who is struggling with an Achilles injury. The Scotland boss revealed other bumps and bruises within his squad and confirmed striker Kenny Miller, who missed the game against Liechtenstein with a groin injury, would be assessed again today and tomorrow but Bannan appears to be a new worry. "Barry Bannan has a gash on his heel and he was uncomfortable this morning," said Levein. "It is a really awkward area. "The doctor had to put some glue on it to hold it together. "He is doubtful, but it is very soon after the game to get a clear picture of who is going to be available or not. "Craig Mackail-Smith's back is bothering him a bit - and he has a history of that. "There are quite a few niggles but we will get a clearer picture tomorrow. "I haven't had the opportunity to speak to Kenny or the doctor but he is another who is in the wait-and-see category."