By News Team
10th November 2020
Scotland are just one win away from reaching their first major international tournament in 22 years as Serbia stand in their way, while England host the Republic of Ireland in a friendly at Wembley. Both matches take place on Thursday this week.
We take a look at all the best odds across both of those fixtures.
Scotland stand on the brink of glory
Scotland face a tricky tie away to Serbia in their European Championship play-off, with both teams knowing victory will book their place in next summer’s tournament. The Scots look a different side under Steve Clark and carry their best run of form in years heading into this one.
The Tartan Army have gone on an eight-match unbeaten run after a difficult start, and confidence is high in their camp. A penalty shootout victory to Israel showed they have the mettle when it counts, and they’ll fancy their chances against the Serbs.
With players such as Andy Robertson and John McGinn performing well in the Premier League, Calum McGregor and Ryan Christie in good form for Celtic, and Lyndon Dykes adapting well at QPR and impressing when appearing for the national side, they have quality in key areas now.
But the Serbs have an abundance of class themselves, with Ajax’s Dusan Tadic, Inter Milan’s Aleksandar Kolarov, Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic just a few of the star names on their team sheet. They saw off a good Norway side to earn their play-off spot and will make life difficult for Scotland.
Serbia are 4/6 favourites to win this one, while the Scots are 9/2 to win in 90 minutes with the draw 13/5. Steve Clarke thinks the sides are evenly matched, and the Scots might be able to recreate their victorious penalty shootout against Israel here. They are 14/1 to win on spot-kicks.
England host Republic of Ireland in Wembley showdown
Thursday’s match at Wembley will be the first meeting between England and the Republic of Ireland since their friendly in June 2015, which ended in a 0-0 stalemate. A draw is a common theme in this fixture, with the last six meetings between the sides ending all square.
England had mixed results in their last international fixtures in October, where their impressive win against Belgium was followed up with a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Denmark. Gareth Southgate will be keen to put that right against the Irish but will also be keen to avoid any injuries ahead of the Nations League fixture against Belgium a few days later.
While there’s no arguing that the Republic don’t have the quality that the Three Lions do across all areas of the park, Stephen Kenny’s side will be up for the challenge that awaits and could make life difficult for England by being organised in midfield and defence. The return of captain Seamus Coleman will is a big boost.
England are as short as 3/10 to win on Thursday, while there’s good value in backing Ireland at 10/1. But don’t be surprised at a draw given the history of this fixture, and that can be backed at 4/1. Dominic Calvert-Lewin could lead the line against Ireland should Gareth Southgate rest Harry Kane for Belgium, and the Everton striker is 5/2 to bag the first goal.