Scotland manager Pedro Martinez Losa is keen to ensure that the first step towards European Championship qualification is a positive one.

The journey to Switzerland next year for Euro 25 begins with an away trip to Serbia this Friday night before Hampden plays host to Slovakia on Tuesday evening.

Having ensured a Nations League campaign that ended winless and with a humiliating 6-0 defeat at Hampden against England, Scotland can only make it to the finals via the play-offs after being relegated to League B.

Serbia could well present one of the more tougher challenges that Scotland, group favourites, will be presented with. 

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“Serbia have improved a lot and will be very competitive," said the Spaniard. "They also have very talented individual players in the final third. But our aim is to be at the European Championships so we have negotiate every game.

“We know from the World Cup that is important we start well because then we get positive results and positive feelings from the beginning,” he said.

“It is obviously a challenge for us because we are away from home and I do think those who have a home Friday night game have a little advantage. 

“We also have a little less time to recover once we travel back but that is the challenge for us.

“Every game is important but we want to start the campaign positively."

Martinez Losa has had to bring in Rangers winger Brogan Hay and Birmingham midfielder Christie Harrison-Murray after injuries over the weekend to Christy Grimshaw and Hayley Lauder. 

Martha Thomas, who scored all three of Scotland’s goals at the Pinnatar Cup, is also out with Celtic’s Amy Gallacher in the squad. Scoring goals undermined the Nations League campaign that Scotland finished without a win with Martinez Losa accepting of the need for improvement in that area.

“We want to be more clinical in the final third,” he said. “Now is the moment for competition. The players are fresh and in the best form and we have discussed at length what our objectives are now."