The finest performance– by a country mile – of this campaign came in Lithuania when a slick and quick Scotland side secured a thrilling 3-0 win.
The starting line-up in Vilnius on September 1 was: Craig Gordon in goal; Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney at left- and right-back respectively; Charlie Mulgrew and Christophe Berra formed the central defence pairing; Matt Phillips was on the left of the midfield and James Forrest on the right; Scott Brown and James McArthur were tucked inside; Stuart Armstrong was in the advanced midfield role; and Leigh Griffiths was up front.
The only Scots player not outstanding against the Lithuanians was McArthur but he still managed to score one of the goals.
That line-up looked almost perfect, had terrific balance and loads of scope for excellent and fluid football from first minute to last.
Gordon Strachan, unsurprisingly, picked the same 11 for the Malta game at Hampden that followed three days later.
He might have done so again for this match if not robbed of Brown and Armstrong through injury.
Talk of “we’ll manage fine without them” from Strachan and Co should be taken with a large pinch of salt. The management are gutted to be without the Celtic pair.
Now they have to come up with replacements.
I believe Barry Bannan, who has been talked up all week by Strachan, is a stronger contender than Callum McGregor to take Armstrong’s role, while James Morrison looks a likely starter too.
The struggles of his club Crystal Palace should not go against McArthur, while I sense the odds are against Strachan putting Hibs’ John McGinn into such a crucial game.
I also suspect that Darren Fletcher will be on the bench rather than in for Brown.
Phillips and Forrest should stay on the flanks, supplying Griffiths with crosses when they get the chance.
So my team prediction is: Gordon, Robertson, Tierney, Berra, Mulgrew, Morrison, McArthur, Bannan, Phillips, Forrest, Griffiths.