By William Hill
Last Updated: 15th November 2019
Scotland face a trip to Nicosia on Saturday to face Cyprus as their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign edges to a close. We preview the game at the GSP Stadium.
Expect goals in Cyprus
Scotland were dealt a tough hand in qualification , being drawn in Group I alongside Belgium and Russia, who are the two teams to have already secured qualification for Euro 2020. It was to be expected that group-toppers Belgium would cruise their way through, having won eight from eight and conceded just one goal.
In Scotland’s most recent outing, however, they thrashed San Marino 6-0 while, earlier in qualifying, they also took another three points off San Marino and Cyprus. They narrowly missed out in their match with Russia, where they eventually lost 2-1, but for Saturday’s game in Cyprus they are favourites and go into the clash at 6/4 to get the three points.
The odds are in Scotland’s favour for good reason. Despite enjoying a three-match unbeaten run recently, Cyprus have only won 22 of their last 100 qualification matches and have nothing tangible to play for here. A loss couldn’t be negated by falling back on a play-off place either – a cushion the Tartan Army will be thankful for. Steve Clarke’s men are assured of a place in the Euro 2020 play-offs in March following their performance in the UEFA Nations League, so this will provide a good opportunity to start gathering some momentum and boost morale.
Cyprus, meanwhile, were dealt a 5-0 hammering by Russia in their last game out. However, as demonstrated in their two preceding wins against Kazakhstan and San Marino, they don’t just rely on one frontman to get the goals, with five different scorers netting six times. A match result and both teams to score is 4/1 in favour of Scotland.
Scotland building momentum
Scotland took the victory in the reverse fixture at Hampden Park in June winning 2-1, courtesy of an Oliver Burke 89th-minute winner, with Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson putting away the opener. They will be without Robertson on Saturday as well as Scott McTominay, Ryan Fraser and Liam Cooper, who have all withdrawn from the squad. They will be, however, able to call on Ryan Christie, who has already racked up six Scottish Premiership goals from midfield for Celtic this season and he is 7/1 to be first goalscorer and 14/5 to score anytime.
Steve Clarke’s appointment as Scotland boss prior to the win against Cyprus in June signalled that things could be on the up for the nation. This trip to Nicosia provides a perfect opportunity to really get off the ground in the run-up to their crucial Euro 2020 play-off in March.