PEDRO MARTINEZ LOSA has named a slightly bigger squad of 25 players for the World Cup play-off match against Austria on October 6 at Hampden – and potentially a second round game against the Republic of Ireland at the national stadium five days later.

AC Milan winger Christy Grimshaw and Aston Villa's Kirsty Hanson, who is also a wide player, return. Three other players, including 92-times capped West Ham forward Lisa Evans, are also back after being included in the previous squad but dropping out with injury before the final group qualifier against the Faroe Islands earlier this month.

“The players are comfortable and feel good about what we are doing,” Martinez Losa said. “We won’t be changing much.

“We are lucky to be playing potentially two games at home so we do not need to travel which is a big benefit. We will stick to our regular routine and will work on the emotional aspects of these games and give the girls the confidence they need.”

Speaking about the return of Grimshaw, who scored two goals in the qualifying campaign, the Scotland head coach said: “She is playing with AC Milan and performing very well. She can play in the right or in the middle as an attacking midfielder.

“She is an excellent character as well as bringing big attributes to the team. She is a great addition to have back in.”

Austria, at 20, are three places ahead of Scotland in the FIFA rankings while the Republic of Ireland, managed by former Scotland head coach Vera Pauw, are three places below. The Austrians lost 1-0 to tournament winners England in the opening match of Euro 22, but beat Northern Ireland and Norway in the group before losing 2-0 to eventual finalists Germany in the quarter finals.

Even if Scotland win both the Hampden games they will not be guaranteed a place in the World Cup. Only the two best second round winners will qualify automatically for Australia and New Zealand, with the third having to take their chances in the ten team inter-confederation play offs in New Zealand in February.

Results in the group stage are also taken into account when deciding which of the second round winners qualify automatically – and Scotland are currently ranked only sixth of the nine nations involved in the play-offs. The other nations in the confederation play-offs are Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Cameroon, Senegal, Haiti, Panama, Chile, Paraguay and Papua New Guinea.