Scotland face the first of two-must win World Cup qualifiers when they welcome Slovakia to Hampden Park on Thursday night as these two, along with Slovenia, partake in a three-way battle for the runners up spot in Group F....
- Scotland are unbeaten in seven at home - Won Three, Drawn Four
- Slovakia have scored first in each of their past six World Cup qualifiers
The Story So Far
With table-toppers England only needing one win from their two remaining games to book their place in Russia next summer, it would appear as though the rest are battling it out for second place. Slovakia are currently in pole position with fifteen points and they have the comfort of a home game against group whipping boys Malta to come on Sunday night.
In contrast, Scotland are on fourteen points, level with Slovenia, and those two go head-to-head in their final group clash on Sunday.
Only two victories will guarantee the Scots second place and they are 29/20 for the win against Slovakia on Thursday after going unbeaten in their previous seven matches on home soil, albeit four of those ended in draws and another draw is a stand-out bet at 11/5 (Bet 365).
Slovakia To Strike First?
It has been quite a turnaround for Strachan as he watched his team take a paltry four points from their opening four games before taking ten from the next four, although we worry for them on Thursday as they must do without the influential Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong.
As for Slovakia, they thrashed Scotland 3-0 at home last October and they have now opened the scoring in each of their past six World Cup qualifiers. Jan Kozak's men are 11/8 to score first (B365) but they are suspect defensively and are yet to keep a clean sheet in their four qualifiers on the road.
They know that a draw should be enough to move them a step closer to the play-offs and they are more than capable of ending Scotland's own hopes in Glasgow.View full mobile page