Scotland: John McGinn can fill Stuart Armstrong role - Steven Thompson

John McGinn trains with Scotland before they face Slovakia
McGinn (centre) has won four caps since his debut against Denmark last year
World Cup qualifying: Scotland v Slovakia
Venue: Hampden Park Date: Thursday, 5 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

John McGinn's "endless energy" makes him an ideal fit to replace Stuart Armstrong in the national side, says ex-Scotland striker Steven Thompson.

With Armstrong and captain Scott Brown both injured, two midfield places are up for grabs in the impending World Cup qualifiers with Slovakia and Slovenia.

Hibernian's McGinn, 22, says he is "as ready as I've ever been" after scoring twice against Celtic last Saturday.

"I think John right now has a lot of momentum," Thompson told BBC Scotland.

"He is playing at the top of his game. He is full of confidence, and one thing he brings - which Stuart Armstrong does as well - is that endless energy.

"Armstrong makes those runs from midfield, and John does similar. He maybe doesn't score as many goals as Armstrong, but he gives you that driving force from the middle of the park.

"John brings you a bit of physicality as well. He can win a tackle, he is very strong physically.

"I think that was a bit of a slight on the national team, going back to the start of the campaign. We didn't look particularly strong or fast.

"But now, when you look at the wide areas, Matt Phillips has been excellent in the last two games, and James Forrest is a big favourite of Gordon Strachan's and does ever so well when he plays for Scotland.

"Leigh Griffiths gives you energy and movement up front, so if you add the energy John McGinn can bring too, then you have that energy from middle to front."

Darren Fletcher trains with Scotland
Darren Fletcher (centre) is the most experienced player in the Scotland squad, with 78 caps

Scotland head into the last two games of their qualifying campaign knowing two victories - against Slovakia on Thursday, and away to Slovenia on Sunday - will guarantee second spot in Group F and almost certainly a play-off berth.

Thompson, who won 16 caps from 2002 to 2004, also believes former captain Darren Fletcher, 33, should take over from Brown in a holding role in midfield.

"I would argue that Darren Fletcher has to come in," Thompson told Sportsound. "The deepest-lying midfielder would have been Scott Brown, and that should probably now be Fletcher.

"He will be in direct opposition to [Slovakia's] Marek Hamsik, who is world-class.

"You need a player who is very tactically aware to do the job, so he can mark Hamsik, and you need a player who has got that experience. There is no doubt Fletcher has that."

The current Group F standings