Scotland require a home win to keep their World Cup 2022 hopes alive and Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse expects them to deliver in style...
"Clarke’s Scotland is under pressure, and they know it. The team has been playing well and improving, but there’s no getting away from the results"
Scots need a win
Scotland returns to Hampden on Saturday evening, where they host Moldova in a World Cup qualifier that the locals must win. Steve Clarke's men enter on a miserable run of form and are now battling for the runners up slot following a midweek defeat to Denmark.
Three points at Hampden will keep them in the running for a World Cup playoff position, but anything less would be disastrous for Steve Clark and the Tartan Army. Having enjoyed a return to the big stage at Euro 2020, Scotland has its heart set on Qatar 2022.
Scotland have one win in six
Scotland has won only one of their last six matches, with the spare being a 1-0 friendly over Luxembourg on the road in June ahead of the Euros. Che Adams scored the only goal of that match despite the beaten side playing most of the game with ten men. Since that narrow and unconvincing victory, the Scots have lost to the Czech Republic, Croatia and Denmark while fighting out a draw with England at Wembley.
On Wednesday, they suffered their first defeat of this World Cup qualifying group when going down 2-0 in Denmark. The dark blues were punished with two goals scored less than a minute apart, and despite an improved performance in the second half, the team were well beaten. That result dropped Scotland to fourth in the pool, seven points behind pool leaders Denmark and two off Israel and Austria.
Moldova have lost their last three
Moldova was never expected to compete for the prize places in this group, and they have certainly lived up to expectations there. The visitors arrive in Glasgow rooted to the bottom of the group, having picked up just one point from the first dozen available. They started with a handy draw but followed that with three defeats on the bounce.
The fact Moldova is lower in the pecking order than the Faroe Islands tells you everything you need to know about this team. They opened with a 1-1 at home to the Faroes but were brought crashing back to earth with an 8-0 defeat in Denmark. They conceded four against Israel and two when hosting Austria in midweek. That form makes it almost impossible to make a case for the visiting team getting anything from this match.
Scots to put on a show
Clarke's Scotland is under pressure, and they know it. The team has been playing well and improving, but there's no getting away from the results, and a narrow win over the ten men of Luxembourg in six games is poor. Fans will want to see a reaction here, and a home match against the bottom of the pile comes at precisely the right time.
The pre-match betting available on the Betfair Exchange prices a Scotland win at odds of 1.182/11 with the draw written off at 7.87/1. There will be very little interest in the upset, even with 2221/1 trading on a win for Moldova.
Gilmour to steal the show
Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour's performance against Denmark, was one of the few positives for Scotland in midweek as he continues to progress. Fans see the youngster as the future of Scottish football, and this looks like the perfect time for him to get a goal. He came close on Wednesday and is backed to score first in this one at 8.88/1.
Over 3.5 looks worth a bet at the 2.942/1 trading, and Moldova isn't expected to get a goal, so no in the both teams to score market appeals at 1.4740/85. This should be about how many Scotland win by.
Get a Free £10 Bet – Every Day!
We’re doubling our Daily Rewards! From Thursday September 2 until Wednesday September 8, stake £20 on multiples or Bet Builders over the course of a day, and, after the bets have settled, you'll get a free £10 to use on multiples or Bet Builders. Bets must settle before 23:59 on the day after they are placed. No opt-in required, T&Cs apply.