Hickey braced for Kvaratskhelia test in crucial Georgia clash

The Brentford defender could directly face Napoli's rising star when the two nations lock horns at Hampden on Tuesday.

Aaron Hickey welcomed the test that Georgia superstar Khvicha Kvaratskhelia will provide Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.

The 22-year-old attacker helped Napoli to their Serie A title win last season, the Italian club’s first in 33 years, and is considered one of the top players in the world at the moment.

Hickey and the Scots are still on a high from Saturday’s stunning 2-1 away win over a Norway side which included Manchester City goal-machine Erling Haaland and Arsenal star midfielder Martin Odegaard.

Haaland netted from the spot but late goals from Lyndon Dykes and Kenny McLean made it three 2024 European Championship qualifying wins out of three for Steve Clarke’s side who top Group A.

The 21-year-old Brentford full-back, who won his tenth cap in Oslo, admitted that playing against Norway’s top players boosted confidence, saying: “Going away and playing against the likes of Haaland and Odegaard – they were a good team.

“I thought they played quite well but we managed to end up getting two goals so obviously it boost your confidence going into the next match.”

Asked about the highly-rated Kvaratskhelia, the former Hearts and Bologna player said: “We all know he is a top player. I am looking forward to it.

“It is going to be a challenge for me but the full team know we have to try shut him off as much as we can.

“When you come up against the best you go into the game knowing what you have to do and prepare yourself knowing that he is a top player

“It is a challenge and these types of players improve you as well. You can learn off them. It will be a good challenge.”

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