Lithuania v Scotland Predictions, Betting Tips and Preview
August 29, 2017
Lithuania National Stadium - Vilnius, Lithuania - World Cup Qualifier
Gordon Strachan's Scotland travel to Lithuania on Saturday hoping to reignite their slim World Cup qualification chances with a morale boosting win.
Scotland have an excellent recent record against Lithuania, winning four out of their last six games against the Baltic nation between 2003 and 2016.
However they could only rescue a draw against the Lithuanians as part of this World Cup qualification campaign, thanks to a late James McArthur goal in a 1-1 draw back in October 2016.
Scotland have been hit by two key withdrawals from their original squad, with midfielder Tom Cairney and striker Steven Fletcher both pulling out through injury earlier this week.
Milwall goalkeeper Jordan Archer has received his first call up, and Hibernian's Steven Whittaker has been recalled.
Newcastle duo Matt Ritchie and Grant Hanley, and West Brom's Matty Phillips all return to the squad having missed the previous round of qualifiers through injury, in a timely boost for Strachan's team.
First choice goal keeper David Marshall, of Hull City, is also out injured and is expected to be replaced by either Celtic's Craig Gordon or Hull team mate Allan McGregor.
There will be some familiar faces for Scottish football fans on the opposite side, with two SPL players called up to represent Lithuania. Hibernian pair Vykintas Slivka and Deivydas Matulevicius both set to represent their country against a number of the SPL rivals on Saturday night.
Lithuania's man to watch will be captain Fiodor Cernych, the striker is the highest international goal scorer in the squad, with eight goals for Edgaras Jankauskas' side.
Lithuania v Scotland Preview and Predictions
Scotland will be hoping to put an end to their recent inconsistent form and pick up a vital win in their pursuit of a potential play-off spot in Group F, with England set to top the group.
Strachan's side were left frustrated by a late England equaliser, via Harry Kane, back in June, in a result that served as a setback to Scotland's chances of securing second place, however they are still very much in the running.
The main challenge for them comes from Slovakia and Slovenia, on 12 and 11 points respectively, with Scotland on eight and if the Tartan Army are to have any chance of making it to Russia next summer, they need a win against Lithuania.
Scotland's away form is something of a concern however, winning just one of their last three games away from Hampden Park, however Lithuania's poor form will give the plenty of encouragement that they can get a result.
Lithuania have won just once, against Malta, since their draw at Hampden in October, losing four consecutive games in 2016 and 2017.
An away win is necessary for Scotland, and looks good value priced at 5/6.
It is unlikely to be a classic encounter, with Scotland in need of points they will take a scrappy win to boost their qualification hopes, and an under 2.5 goals bet 8/15 is worth a look.
Scotland to win 1-0 at 9/2
Scotland are far from the greatest attacking force in world football, scoring more than one goal in just one of their last six games, so a narrow win would be more than acceptable for Strachan and his charges.
Half Time- Draw Full Time- Scotland Win at 10/3
Scotland have been fond of late goals in their qualifiers so far, scoring against Lithuania, Slovenia and twice against England in the last five minutes. Late could be on the cards again, particularly if Lithuania look to sit in and defend against their visitors.