A new era is about to get underway for Scotland as Steve Clarke takes over the reigns and is getting ready to get his teeth stuck into the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Alex McLeish left his role as Scotland manager as the Scots were embarrassed after a 3-0 defeat out in Kazakhstan and then followed that up with an underwhelming 2-0 win over San Marino. The Scottish FA brought in Steve Clarke to replace McLeish after his impressive work in turning things around at Kilmarnock, taking them to a third-place Europa League finish after previous struggles. Killie also managed to record victories over the Old Firm forces in Celtic and Rangers during Clarke’s reign which would have impressed the right people as he secured the top job in Scotland.
Scotland and Cyprus both have three points after their opening two qualifiers. The Cypriots handed minnows San Marino a 5-0 beating before going on to lose at the hands of table-topping Belgium. Scotland also have a solitary win over San Marino which was a slight improvement on the embarrassing defeat against the Kazakh’s which led to Alex McLeish’s demise and eventual sacking. This is a tough time for Cyprus to face Scotland as new gaffer Steve Clarke’s arrival will most likely have a positive impact on the group of players, they would have loved to have faced the Scots straight after their last two performances but now they face a tough challenge.
Scotland and Cyprus have only ever met on five previous occasions, with the Scots winning all of them. This week’s Euro Qualifier will be the first meeting between the two since 2011 when Scotland ran out 2-1 winners in an international friendly.
Andy Robertson is expected to be ready to captain his country a week after featuring in Liverpool’s Champions League final triumph in Madrid. Among Steve Clarke’s first squad of players are Liam Kelly, Michael Devlin, Stuart Findlay, Greg Taylor and Eamonn Brophy whom are all uncapped and could make their debuts on the international stage.
There are also regulars within the Scotland squad including Callum McGregor, James Forrest, John McGinn and Stuart Armstrong who will provide good options and quality within those midfield positions.
Cyprus have lost seven of their last eight away from home and they failed to find the back of the net in five of them. They have a really hard time scoring goals, obviously not taking into account the 5-0 win over San Marino as they are literally the whipping boys of European Qualifiers each time they come around. Due to Cyprus’ woes in front of goal, I would be looking at Both Teams to Score ‘No’ at @ 1.57, and at slightly higher odds, I would go for Scotland to win and over 1.5 goals at @ 1.90 because Cyprus have lost five of their last seven away games with their being two or more goals in the match.
Another bet I like the look of is Scotland -1 handicap at @ 2.50. This bet comes with good value because of Cyprus’ inability to score goals. If Steve Clarke’s side can find the net at least a couple of times on Saturday evening then this selection should come out as a winner.
Both Teams to Score ‘No’ @ 1.57
Scotland to win and over 1.5 goals @ 1.90
Scotland -1 handicap @ 2.50