Ally McCoist pulled no punches when asked if Jordan Henderson would start for Scotland over John McGinn and Scott McTominay.
If selected, Henderson could come up against the pair when England take on Scotland in a friendly at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.
It will be the first meeting between the two countries since a goalless draw at Wembley at Euro 2020.
Much has been made of Henderson’s inclusion in the England starting XI since his move to Saudi Pro League outfit Al Ettifaq.
With Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham completing the Three Lions’ midfield trio in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Ukraine, many believe boss Gareth Southgate should look to the future rather than persist with the former Liverpool skipper.
Ahead of Tuesday night’s clash, former Scotland striker McCoist was asked whether Henderson would usurp either McGinn or McTominay, and the response was resounding.
“That’s a great question, I hope Jordan’s not listening,” McCoist told talkSPORT. “No, he’s not getting in it.”
“Our midfield and left side of defence are the strongest areas of the team with all due respect, I think we’ve got better forwards than we’ve had before but not at the elite level.
“I think defensively we’re far better than we’ve been but perhaps not at the elite level and I think our strongest part of the team is midfield and left central defender obviously with [Kieran] Tierney and [Andy] Robertson.
Henderson will hope to get his chance to fire back at McCoist when England take to the pitch in what is expected to be a raucous atmosphere.
The Three Lions’ last trip to Hampden came in 2017 with both sides battling for World Cup qualification.
England had Harry Kane to thank for an added-time equaliser after Lee Griffiths netted two superb free-kicks to put the hosts 2-1 ahead, with just minutes remaining.
And although there will be less riding on Tuesday night’s game, McCoist will be hoping an ever-improving Scotland side can get the job done this time round.
The new talkSPORT match centre
Keep up-to-date with all the latest football fixtures, results and standings in our new match centre.