Hamped Park - European Championship Qualification
Scotland host San Marino at home on Saturday, with Steve Clarke's side desperate for a confidence boost after a heavy defeat by Russia. The visitors are the only side in Group I with a worse record than the Scots, having lost all of their games.
Scotland have won all of their matches against San Marino, with the away fixture in this qualification series ending 0-2 thanks to goals from Kenny McLean and Johnny Russel.
Steve Clarke is certain to shuffle the pack after Thursday's game, and may look to play Johnny Russel more centrally following a poor display from Ollie Burke up front. The game is likely to be played in-front of Scotland, meaning passing ability will be rated over speed.
Franco Varrella is unlikely to make many changes to the side that were beaten 9-0 by Belgium, having started his key players including Fillipo Berardi and Davide Simoncini. With the side bottom of the group, he may rotate to give fringe players a run out.
Scotland v San Marino Predictions and Preview
With Scotland’s morale at an all time low, Steve Clarke may feel the pressure if his side fail to beat San Marino on Sunday. The away side are the lowest ranked side in Group I, but the Tartan Army struggled to break them down when the sides last met.
Scotland’s 4-0 defeat by Russia did far more than end any chance of automatic qualification to Euro 2020. Conceding so many without response, even away from home, has led many fans to wonder if the side has progressed at all since Clarke took over.
Fortunately for the manager, he has a number of quality players at his disposal, with captain and Liverpool star Andrew Robertson proffering the attacking side of the game, rather than defending for the majority of the game, as was the case against Russia. This will play to Scotland’s favour on Sunday, as they will undoubtedly have the lions share of possession against San Marino.
Varrella will almost certainly set his side up to limit Scotland’s attacking ability- setting up camp in their own box to prevent goals from crosses. The vital question, and one that Clarke must find the answer to, is how to prevent San Marino’s plan from working.
Johnny Russel to score anytime at 4/11
The forward scored against San Marino last time out and will hope to occupy the central rope on Sunday.
Under 3.5 goals scored at 2/9
Despite the shocking goal return from San Marino, Scotland’s lack of confidence may hamper them going forward.