Scotland v Russia Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews

September 02, 2019

- Grant Whittington

Hampden Park - Euro 2020 Qualification

Scotland are looking to bounce back from their 3-0 defeat in Belgium back in June as they welcome Russia to Hampden Park on Friday evening. The visitors also shipped three away to the Belgians, but have recovered with three straight victories since.

Past Meetings

These two countries haven’t played each other since the qualifying campaign for Euro 96. The teams drew 1-1 in Scotland before a goalless draw in the return back in Russia, and haven’t locked horns in the 24 years since.

Team News

Steve Clarke has to decide whether to start Oli McBurnie after the Sheffield United striker was caught on camera claiming he didn’t want to be called up for the Scotland squad. Supposedly banter, the matter’s been dealt with on the training pitch, and McBurnie will hope to start alongside fellow Premier League players John McGinn, Scott McTominay, Ryan Fraser and captain Andrew Robertson.

Former Chelsea man Yuri Zhirkov could win his 89th cap this weekend, although the 36-year-old may have to settle for a place on the bench. Only four players in the Russia squad play outside their home country, including Monaco midfielder Aleksandr Golovin and Valencia’s Denis Cheryshev, who had an excellent World Cup last year. Imposing striker Artem Dzyuba captains the away team.

Scotland v Russia Preview and Predictions

After two defeats in their opening four fixtures of this Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, Scotland have a monumental task on their hands to finish in the top two of Group I ahead of either Belgium or Russia. Clarke’s side are assured of a place in the play-offs though thanks to their Nations League endeavours, while there’s no such safety net for the Russians.

Scotland are in another period of rebuilding after their disastrous 4-0 defeat in Kazakhstan that kicked off this current campaign. They’ve done okay since, beating San Marino and Cyprus before that loss in Belgium. This is a crucial game though if they want to stand any chance of finishing above Russia in this section to guarantee their participation in next summer’s showpiece.

There is some decent talent for the Tartan Army to cheer on at Hampden, with a number of players plying their trade for top Premier League clubs. The Scots will need the likes of Robertson, McTominay and Fraser to be on top form if they’re going to have any chance of getting a result against Russia.

The visitors exceeded expectations at their home World Cup last year, while their Nations League campaign was relatively successful too. That helps the away team to start as the 7/4 favourites with the bookmakers for this match, while Scotland are priced at 19/10. If you think the game will end in a draw, that’s available at 11/5.

Recommended Bets

Russia to win to nil at 31/10

Stanislav Cherchesov’s side have scored 14 goals without conceding on their way to winning their last three matches, while Scotland could only manage two against minnows San Marino and the same at home to Cyprus.

Scotland to win 2-1

If, on the other hand, you think Scotland are going to spring a surprise, this would look like one of the likeliest scorelines. With the visitors in strong goalscoring form, the hosts will surely have to score at least twice to pick up the win.

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