Scotland v Slovakia Betting Preview | 5th October
In our Scotland v Slovakia betting preview we look at team news, potential line-ups, stats & facts, head-to-head, popular bets and more for Thursday’s Group F World Cup Qualifier.
Scotland v Slovakia Betting Preview
Venue: Hampden Park
It’s a sprint finish with two games left in group F between Scotland, Slovakia and Slovenia to see who will grab second place in the group. The second placed team then plays in a play off match for the chance to be in next year’s world cup. England tops the group by 5 points and with a win over Slovenia they can claim automatic qualification tomorrow to the finals. Scotland and Slovenia trail Slovakia by a point so a win for Scotland tomorrow and a Slovenian loss throws the group wide open for second place.
Realistically Scotland have to win tomorrow to have any chance of qualification as Slovakia have a home game to follow against Malta the whipping boys of the group, so they have a huge advantage. This might change the way they approach this match, whereas Scotland have to go all out for the win.
Scotland have a surprisingly poor home record at the intimidating Hampden Park. Four of Scotland’s last seven home games have been draws two were 1-1 and two 2-2, while Slovakia beat both Malta and Lithuania away from home before unluckily losing 2-1 against England at Wembley last month.
Scotland have done so well to recover from a very poor start to the campaign and to even have a chance of second place is an amazing turnaround. They need two wins and they could still qualify. Scotland have improved dramatically this year and are unbeaten in 2017. Scoring has come easy to Scotland and they’ve scored at least twice in all of their last three matches. The performance against England was impressive mainly down to their main goal threat Leigh Griffiths and his free kicks which nearly pulled off a famous win.
Slovakia are second in the group and have the play-off place in their own hands. They love to attack as seen in their last match against England the group leaders and have scored in 3 of their 4 away games in this group. However they sacrifice defensive stability for this attacking verve. They have just 1 clean sheet in 6 matches and there are clear defensive vulnerabilities that Scotland can look to exploit.
Scotland were rocked last week when Celtic’s Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong pulled out through injuries both key players in midfield. It means Matt Phillips and James Forrest could both start. Brown the team captain was injured in Celtics 3-0 win against Anderlecht with a hamstring injury while Armstrong misses this game due to a calf strain. Newcastle midfielder Matt Ritchie has withdrawn from the Scotland squad with a slight injury following the 1-1 draw with Liverpool. There were worries over Griffith’s fitness as he trained alone during the week but Gordon Strachan said his solo training was to even up the numbers and that he was fine.
Strachan recalled uncapped Leeds United centre-half Liam Cooper when the squad was named last week. Meanwhile, Callum McGregor is handed his first Scotland call up by Gordon Strachan and with this current form should start with 6 goals this season. Russell Martin and Steven Naismith, who are not in the Norwich city first team, have been omitted.
Slovakia are not expected to make many changes from the team that played against England in their last match. A 4-2-3-1 formation is their preferred tactic with Marek Hamšík playing in the number 10 role behind Adam Nemec.
Potential Scotland Starting XI – C. Gordon, C. Berra, C. Mulgrew, A. Robertson, K. Tierney, C. McGregor, J. McArthur, M. Phillips, J. Forrest, J. Morrison, L. Griffiths
Potential Slovakia Starting XI – M. Dúbravka, M. Škrtel , T. Hubočan , P. Pekarík, J. Ďurica , M. Škriniar , M. Hamšík , S. Lobotka , A. Nemec, V. Weiss
Stats & Facts
- Slovakia has conceded a goal in all of their away games in this group. Both teams Scotland and Slovakia have scored on average 1.75 goals per game during the qualifying campaign.
Head To Head
The sides met for the first time earlier in the group matches, with Slovakia cruising to an easy and impressive win at home 3-0 win.
- Both Teams to Score @ Evens
- Draw & Both Teams to Score @ 15/4
- Leigh Griffiths to score anytime at 15/8