BLACKBURN Rovers captain Grant Hanley is relishing the chance to take on wounded world champions Germany in their own back yard.
Hanley is set to take his place at the heart of the Scotland defence for their Euro 2016 qualifier at Borussia Dortmund’s 81,264-capacity Signal Iduna Park on Sunday.
MORE TOP STORIES:
It will be Germany’s first competitive encounter since winning the 2014 World Cup in the summer.
But Joachim Low’s lavishly talented team will go into the match on the back of a defeat in their first fixture since their famous triumph in Brazil.
Germany went down 4-2 to Argentina in Dusseldorf on Wednesday night in what was a rerun of the World Cup final.
But hurt or not Hanley cannot wait to pit his wits against some of the best players on the planet.
He said: “What an experience it will be – playing Germany in Germany.
“These are the types of games you play football to be involved in.
“I watched them at the World Cup and what can you say?
“It should be a great atmosphere and it’s going to be a good test to test ourselves against the best.”
Scotland will be firm underdogs for the Group D clash.
But there is genuine hope north of the border that the Tartan Army can qualify for a major tournament for the first time since the 1998 World Cup after going on a six-match unbeaten run.
Hanley said: “It’s going good, results and performances have picked up.
“It’s something I always enjoy so I always look forward to going away.
“As a player you just want to test yourself on the highest level as often as you can.
“So when you go away and play against the big countries it’s certainly a test.”
Asked whether he could be lining up at the Euro 2016 finals in France the centre back said: “We’ve improved recently, so you never know, but it’s going to be a test.”
Despite being just 22 Hanley has already established himself at international level.
He is in line to win his 14th cap against Germany on Sunday and his manager at club level believes the potential he possesses is ‘unlimited’.
Rovers boss Gary Bowyer made Hanley his captain in January after Scott Dann’s departure to Crystal Palace.
And Bowyer said: “The potential for Grant to improve and to want to improve is unlimited.”
Rovers defender Darragh Lenihan, 20, is part of the Republic of Ireland squad for their Euro U21s Championship qualifier in Halle against Germany tonight.