Whoever shoulders the responsibility of spearheading the Scottish attack tonight will soon find themselves face-to-face with a daunting obstacle that goes by the name Thomas Strakosha.

The Lazio goalkeeper has established himself as Albania’s No.1 under Italian manager Christian Panucci after enjoying a rapid ascendancy in Serie A over the last two seasons.

Strakosha, just 23, has racked up 92 appearances for the club, missing just three games last season as he helped his side to the Europa League quarter-finals and the brink of Champions League qualification, before a final-day loss to Inter saw them finish fifth.

It was always in his blood. His father Fotaq Strakosha earned 73 caps as Albania’s goalkeeper between 1990 and 2004, placing him at No.6 in the country’s all-time appearance charts.

A renowned name in Albanian football, Fotaq’s legacy ensured that his son came from good stock but, at his own admission, Strakosha Jr. is already threatening to overshadow his father’s achievements.

“When he was 15 I knew that Thomas possessed the qualities to become a strong goalkeeper of a high level,” Fotaq told Corriere dello Sport.

“Above all I recognised his desire to reach the top, from the professionalism he showed at that age. He wanted to go to bed early, eat well and train more than the others. I understood from these things that his dream could become a reality.”

This season Strakosha’s development has continued apace, with the goalkeeper becoming more decisive than ever for his club. Notably, during a Serie A match away to Empoli in September, an extraordinary reaction save denied the hosts an equaliser with the last kick of the game.

His progression at Lazio has been such that the club’s No.2 Silvio Proto, a Belgium international who featured regularly in the Champions League with Olympiacos last season, admitted he has no illusions of being able to compete.

“I’ve never seen a goalkeeper as talented as him,” he said. “The Albanian is young, physically strong, explosive. He has everything you need to have a career at the top level.”

However, despite his enormous potential, Strakosha is not yet the finished article. He has occasionally been guilty of errors of judgment, as seen for Scotland’s second goal at Hampden in August, and his consistently poor distribution remains a major weakness for opponents to exploit.

Maybe there is hope for Scotland.