Scotland and Slovakia will square off in a crucial World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park, as the fight for the second place in Group F is extremely tight with two rounds left to go. England leads the group with 20 points, Slovakia has 15 (and will host Malta in the next round), while Slovenia and Scotland have 14 points (and will meet eachother in the last round).
Scotland has been solid recently, winning 10 points from the last possible 12 in this qualifying group. This year the defeated Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta without conceding a goal, while also drawing 2-2 at home with rivals England in a crazy match. Overall, the Scots have lost just once at home since the start of 2015 (11 matches) and that was against Germany more than 2 years ago.
Slovakia had a rough start to this qualifying campaign, losing their first two matches against England and Slovenia, but the team has been on a roll since then. Slovakia won 5 consecutive games in Group F before suffering a 1-2 loss against England at Wembley in the last outing, a game in which the Slovakians played very well – and maybe they were a little unlucky to go home empty handed.Bet on Scotland vs. Slovakia and claim your 100% (100 Eur) bonus at Ohmbet now!
Team news & lineups:
Armstrong, Ritchie and Brown are unavailable for Scotland. Duris and Skriniar are out for Slovakia.
Scotland: Gordon – Tierney, Mulgrew, Berra, Robertson – Fletcher, McArthur – Forrest, Morrison, Phillips – Griffiths
Slovakia: Dubravka – Pekarik, Durica, Skrtel, Hubocan – Lobotka, Kucka – Weiss, Hamsik, Mak – Nemec
Slovakia knows that a draw here would virtually qualify them for the playoffs, as they meet Malta in the last round, while Scotland and Slovenia will play eachother (Slovenia also plays in England in this round). A loss on the other hand will leave them begging for other results to go their way, and it could well mean missing on qualification.
The Slovakians are in great form this year, they played very well last month in England and they look like a very well organized side, a well oiled machine.
The Scots are in good form themselves and are a force to be reckoned with at home, but you have to feel they don`t quite have the same chemistry and experience in big matches like Slovakia, while they are also a bit inferior in terms of quality. Earlier in this group, the Scots lost 0-3 in Slovakia.
Scotland will also need to open up if things don`t go their way early, they will become desperate (only a win will keep them alive with realistic chances), so a good counterattacking team like Slovakia could take advantage of that.
My tip is Slovakia to cover the +0,5 handicap in this clash. I see the visitors as the more mature team and there`s also less pressure on their shoulders. I doubt Scotland is good enough and consistent enough to snatch qualification away from the Slovakians in this do or die encounter. Prediction: Scotland – Slovakia 1-1.