Scotland vs San Marino: Under 5.5 Goals – 17/10
The bottom two of Group I face off at Hampden Park, with Scotland looking to get some momentum ahead of their EURO 2020 knockout round, as their chances of qualifying from this group are over.
Another miserable performance took place in Moscow, as the Scots were soundly beaten 4-0 by Russia, once again struggling to create many good chances.
Steve Clarke’s side are on a four-match losing streak, having been beaten by the two best teams in the group, Belgium and Russia, twice and conceding 13 goals in the process, so will be looking forward to facing inferior opponents here.
Their two wins in the group so far have come away at San Marino (2-0) and at home to Cyprus (2-1), showing that, even against lesser opponents, Scotland don’t blow them away. Don’t expect fireworks from the home side here.
What can you say about San Marino? They haven’t picked up a point in this qualifying campaign and haven’t even managed a goal.
The minnows have conceded 37 in seven group games, so it really is a question of how many, with San Marino’s aim to just keep the score down.
Interestingly, their best result of the campaign came against Scotland in the reverse fixture, can they do it again?
The hosts don’t boast any great attacking talent and are bereft of confidence coming into this game.
So, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a slow burner here, and a lower-scoring game than many might expect. I can see a 3-0 or 4-0 home win, so backing under 5.5 goals looks a good bet.
Poland vs North Macedonia: Poland win to nil – 5/4
This is a crucial game in Group G, with just five points separating leaders Poland and their opponents North Macedonia, and a win for the Poles will likely see them secure qualification for EURO 2020.
Robert Lewandowski was up to his usual tricks on Thursday, as he bagged a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Latvia, with Poland making light work of the whipping boys.
Poland have won five of their seven group games, losing away at Slovenia 2-0 and drawing against Austria, but the defeat in Slovenia is the only game in which they have conceded a goal, showing their defensive strength. Six clean-sheets in seven matches is likely to be extended to seven in eight, and with the firepower they have in attack, should make it six wins from eight qualifiers.
North Macedonia have given themselves a small chance of making it to EURO 2020 thanks to back-to-back wins over Latvia and Slovenia, but have lost both games against the two best teams in the group.
They were no match for Poland in the reverse fixture in the group, and that is likely to be the case again here. Take a home win and a clean sheet is our selection in this one.
Wales vs Croatia: Croatia to win – 11/8
A huge crunch match in Cardiff, with group leaders Croatia facing Wales and Ryan Giggs’ side likely need something from this game if they are to have any chance of qualifying for Euro 2020.
The Welsh let a 1-0 lead slip against Slovakia on Thursday, but a draw was the least Slovakia deserved, as Wales really struggled to deal with the hosts. They have managed to hit the net just five times in five qualifiers so far, and continue to struggle to create good scoring chances – which is a bit of a surprise.
Gareth Bale and Daniel James are a handful, but beyond that, there isn’t too much more attacking quality – remember Aaron Ramsey isn’t in the squad.
If they play the same way they did against Slovakia in this game, Croatia will likely have an easy task to get the win.
The Croats are top of Group E after winning four of their six qualifiers and have been making light work of their opponents, beating Wales comfortably 2-1, before thumping Slovakia 4-0 away from home and dispatching Hungary 3-0.
They possess a shedload of talented players at both ends of the pitch, with Dejan Lovren and Domagoj Vida at the heart of the defence, a midfield three of Luka Modrić, Marcelo Brozović and Ivan Rakitić and scintillating wide men in Ivan Perišić and Ante Rebić.
It is worth remembering that Croatia’s squad is so much more talented than Wales’, and more importantly, this Croatia team were World Cup runners-up not so long ago.
Taking all of that into account, it is a huge surprise to see the Croats at such a big price to win this game, and the visitors are a must-back on Sunday.
* All odds correct at time of posting.