Scottish Premiership

Scotland vs Austria: Che Adams answers Scots SOS call to bolster the attack

Andy Robertson Scotland
Andy Robertson is hoping to build on Scotland's recent success at Hampden on Thursday

"Scotland boss Clarke boosted his team by handing a first call up to Southampton striker Che Adams."

Scotland return to Hampden as they aim to bag three vital World Cup qualifying points against Austria. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse takes us through the betting...

Scotland vs Austria
Thursday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports

World Cup qualifying begins

Scotland get their World Cup qualifying campaign up and running at Hampden Park on Thursday when hosting Austria in a match scheduled for a 19:45 kick-off. Having qualified for this summer's European Championships, the home team will be eager to build on that success.

Fans would forgive Steve Clarke and his men for being preoccupied with June's opener against the Czech Republic in Glasgow. But they must focus on the here and now. Thursday signals the start of three World Cup qualifiers played in just six days.

Adams commits to Scotland

Scotland boss Clarke boosted his team by handing a first call up to Southampton striker Che Adams. The Premier League star has already turned out for England under-20s but brought an end to the ongoing debate by making himself available for the Scottish national team. He qualifies through the grandparent rule.

Adams will provide vital support to the Scottish attack, an area of the team Clarke has been working to strengthen. Lyndon Dykes is without a club goal this year, while Oli Burke and Oli McBurnie have scored a combined three goals all season.

In midfield, there were call ups for Sheff Utd's Jon Fleck, Stuart Armstrong of Southampton, and Man Utd's Scott McTominay. The defence includes a return for Grant Hanley, Andy Robertson, and Kieran Tierney. It's a strong team on paper, and with the players vying for a place in the Euro 2020 squad, fans want to see a performance.

Austria vow to play on

Austria arrive in Glasgow, believing they are good enough to win this match and top the group. The visitors are currently 23rd in the FIFA world rankings and made it into the top 10 just five years ago. They'll view Denmark as their main danger to pole position.

Boss Franco Foda named his 43-man squad, and it's a list of familiar faces. Bayern Munich defender David Alaba joins fellow Bundesliga star Marcel Sabitzer of RB Leipzig. The German-based players are in the team despite COVID-19 restrictions that say anyone travelling from Germany to the United Kingdom must isolate for two weeks.

Austrian backroom staff are working to resolve this problem but have vowed to complete their fixture against Scotland regardless of the outcome. Captain Julian Baumgartlinger is already out, the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder struggling with injury.

Scotland unbeaten against Austria since 2003

This match will be the first competitive meeting of these sides since a 1-0 friendly win for the Scots back in 2007. They haven't suffered defeat to Austria since 2003.

Since beating Serbia to qualify for Euro 2020, Scotland has lost to Slovakia and Israel, both by a 1-0 score. Austria beat Northern Ireland 2-1 and drew 1-1 with Norway. The form suggests this will be a tight match involving two well-organised sides.

The pre-match betting available on the Betfair Exchange prices Scotland at 3.55/2 and Austria at 2.285/4 with the draw 3.55/2. The latter looks worth a play and would be a decent start for both.

Hosts will stand firm in defence

Clarke intends to make his men difficult to break down, which is evident from their results. Each of Scotland's last six matches has produced less than three goals. Under 2.5 goals is 1.674/6 with over the same mark at 2.285/4.

Sticking with the stats and at least one team failed to find the net in the host nation's last two starts. No in both teams to score market is 1.9110/11 with yes 1.991/1.

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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.