We’ve been here before with Scotland, much of the hard work done and just one game away from success.
All too often it ends in glorious failure but there’s a growing sense of confidence and expectation among Steve Clarke’s squad and they’re more than capable of getting the draw or better against Ukraine this evening that would secure promotion to the top tier of the Nations League and arguably more importantly, a crack at qualification for Euro 2024 via the play-offs.
Unfortunately for Clarke his squad is falling apart around him. Already without the services of captain Andy Robertson he’s been dealt further blows with injuries to Nathan Patterson, Scott McTominay, Scott McKenna and Kieran Tierney ruling them out of the trip to Poland. Strikers Che Adams and Lyndon Dykes are also doubtful apparently having taken ill after Saturday’s win over Republic of Ireland.
Those ommisions leave a massive hole in Scotland’s starting XI so their depth of squad will be stretched to the limit and the pendulum could have swung in Ukraine’s favour.
Ukraine got things back on track with a 4-0 win away to Armenia on Saturday and will feel they didn’t do themselves justice at Hampden. They’re capable of much better than we saw in Glasgow on Thursday and it would be a massive shot in the arm for the country of they finish in top spot following the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup at the final play-off hurdle to Wales.
Only a win will do for the Ukrainians and that’s an 11/10 shot at Bet365. For Scotland it’s simple; avoid defeat. A Scots win or draw is available at 4/6. It could be best to hold off until the line-ups are confirmed before get involved in this one but at this stage Ukraine look the bet.
Group B4 is another which goes to the wire tonight. Norway and Serbia are tied on 10 points apiece but it’s the Norwegians who have the upper hand going in to tonight’s clash in Oslo. They top the table on the head-to-head thanks to a 1-0 win in Belgrade at the start of the campaign.
It’s impossible to look at this game and not mention Erling Haaland. The Man City striker has scored in four of the five Nations League matches so far and scored six of Norway’s seven goals. At just 22 he’s already scored a remarkable 21 goals in 22 international appearances so when you’re getting better than evens on him to find the net it’s always worth taking.
Group A2 has also thrown up final day showdown at the top of the table where Portugal host Spain, with the visitors needing a win to nick top spot. The Portuguese lead their neighbours by two points so they just need to avoid defeat to earn a place in the finals and a shot at winning this tournament for a second time.
The bookies make the Spanish win a 12/5 shot. Despite sitting second in the group Luis Enrique’s side have failed to impress during this campaign, dropping two points at home to Portugal, nicking a late point in Prague, then losing 2-1 to Switzerland on Saturday to hand the advantage to their Iberian rivals.
Portugal are well equipped to get the job done tonight but are just 3/10 to avoid defeat. Experienced Italian whistler Daniele Orsato is the man in charge and he’s not shy of a card or two. He dished out an average of 5.89 yellows per game last season and in a game where there might be odd bit of time-wasting, or tactical fouling the 6/5 on over 4.5 cards looks tempting.
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Rizzel’s feeling a little unwell so keep an eye out Cairnzy’s tips for Tuesday as he fills in for us.
As always, let us know your football betting tips and predictions for today in the comments section below and good luck with all your weekend bets!
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