Kazakhstan vs Scotland prediction: Kazakhstan 0-2 Scotland
Will Scotland finally qualify for a major finals?
After a very positive UEFA Nations League campaign, there is optimism that Alex McLeish’s side can do what no Scotland team has done this century.
However, in a tough group, these are the games they cannot afford to drop points in.
Will the Tartan Army get off to the perfect start, 3891 miles away from Hampden, in Astana?
Kazakhstan vs Scotland: Who will win?
Kazakhstan have a decent home record and are 18/5 to start this campaign with a victory.
Scotland are poor on the road but are odds on at 4/5 to win here.
A draw, which suits nobody, is 23/10.
Under 2.5 goals is 4/7.
Both teams to score no is 4/6.
Scotland to win and both teams to score no is 13/8.
Aleksey Shchotkin of Ordabasy will be the home side’s biggest threat. He’s 15/2 to break the deadlock and 16/5 to score anytime.
James Forrest has scored 4 goals in his last two Scotland appearances. The Celtic man is 13/2 to open the scoring and 3/1 to get his sixth international goal.
On the other wing, Ryan Fraser will also be key. The Bournemouth man is 15/2 to score first and 10/3 to score anytime.
Both Forrest and Fraser to score, just as happened in Albania, is 17/1.
Both Forrest and Celtic teammate Oli Burke to score is 10/1.
Kazakhstan vs Scotland: Match preview
Can Kazakhstan qualify for a major tournament for the first time as an independent nation?
Recent form would suggest not.
They won just one of their six UEFA Nations League matches in the Autumn of last year; a 4-0 home win over Andorra.
That tally saw them finish second in Group D1, 10 points behind run away group winners Georgia.
In fact, they have won just 2 of their last 29 competitive matches; a run stretching back to September 2013.
This will be Michal Bílek’s first game in charge as he looks to change their fortunes.
This is not a particularly good side but is it one that can defeat Scotland?
The Euros are coming to Hampden, will Scotland be there too?
As for the visitors, for the first time in a long time, their is a sense of optimism surrounding the National Team.
Scotland’s UEFA Nations League campaign was a rollercoaster ride.
They kicked off with a routine 2-0 win over Albania but then, disaster struck.
A 2-1 defeat in Haifa to Israel left them needing to win both of their remaining two games to secure promotion.
The first of which was a trip to Albania.
An incredibly routine 4-0 win in Shkodër ensured half the job was done.
However, just 3 days later, Israel were ahead after just 9 minutes.
But then came the James Forrest show.
The Celtic man struck 3 times in half an hour to turn the tie on it’s head.
Despite a nervy ending, Scotland held on for a 3-2 win.
Top spot and a play-off place was secured.
That’s just as well, because this draw has been far from kind.
Russia and Belgium are expected to run away with this group with Cyrpus and San Marino set to be the whipping boys.
If Scotland are to challenge the big two, these are the games they simply have to win.
Will this side, once again, rise to the big occasion?
Kazakhstan team news vs Scotland
As this is Michal Bílek’s first game in charge, his team is somewhat difficult to predict.
19 of his 22 squad members play in the Kazakh Premier League including 10 of the predicted XI.
Stas Pokatilov has got 15 caps for his country and is expected to add to that in goal here.
Centre-back Yuriy Logvinenko is the most experienced squad member with 49 caps.
In fact, it’s set to be the same back 4 that started in their last match in Tbilisi.
In midfield, they have high hopes for 20 year old Baktiyar Zaynutdinov.
He plays for Russian side FC Rostov.
They do have problems in front of goal though.
In fact, their 8 UEFA Nations League goals were actually scored by 8 different players.
Aleksey Shchotkin will lead the line for them looking to add to his 2 international strikes.
Can this underwhelming side defeat Scotland?
Scotland team news vs Kazakhstan
As for Alex McLeish’s side, he is without some key men but the majority of his important stars are available.
There will be a change in goal though.
Allan McGregor and Craig Gordon have started the last 11 competitive games between them.
However, the former has retired and the latter has been left out the squad.
Scott Bain, who’s started all of Celtic’s games in 2019 will win just his second cap and first in a competitive game as he appears to be the number one now.
Bain will be one of at least 5 Celtic players in the XI.
In defence, they could be without their captain; Andrew Robertson.
The Liverpool left-back is out with a ‘dental emergency’ but could return to face San Marino on Sunday.
That solves the Tierney-Robertson debate for one game at least so it’ll be the former at left-back.
Cardiff’s utility man Callum Paterson is likely to get the nod over Kilmarnock’s Stephen O’Donnell on the other side.
At centre-back Aberdeen’s Scott McKenna is a doubt so David Bates of Hamburg will start.
Scott McTominay’s superb recent performances for Manchester United should see him start.
Callum McGregor returned from a calf injury at the weekend; a very timely return.
Further forward, Ryan Christie is out so a former Celtic man, Stuart Armstrong will get the nod.
If Scotland are to score goals, it’s likely to come from wide areas.
James Forrest scored a hat-trick in the win over Israel and Ryan Fraser has 7 goals and 11 assists to his name for Bournemouth this season.
Oli Burke is set to lead the line, as he has been doing for Celtic in the past 2 months.
This team should be far too good for Kazakhstan but if anyone can mess up a qualification campaign, Scotland can!
Predicted Kazakhstan team vs Scotland
Predicted Scotland team vs Kazakhstan
The latest tweets from Kazakhstan pre Scotland
Билеты на матчи Казахстан-Шотландия и Казахстан-Россия в кассах стадиона «Астана Арена» https://t.co/Ptk78MSLgJ
— KazakhstanFF (@KFF_Team) March 16, 2019
Состав Национальной сборной Казахстана на матчи против Шотландии и России https://t.co/JYgsRJG23I
— KazakhstanFF (@KFF_Team) March 11, 2019
2020 жылғы Еуропа Чемпионатының іріктеу турнирінің жеребесі тартылды. Қазақстан құрамасының қарсыластары анықталды! pic.twitter.com/qi5yX2ZxGo
— KazakhstanFF (@KFF_Team) December 2, 2018
The latest tweets from Scotland pre Kazakhstan
First call ups for @LiamJPalmer and @sparkymcnulty as Alex McLeish names his Scotland squad for our @UEFAEURO 2020 Qualifiers against Kazakhstan and San Marino.#NothingMattersMore pic.twitter.com/W0YrUkf0Bp
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) March 12, 2019
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) March 12, 2019
Scotland squad update:
OUT: Jordan Archer, Barry Bannan, Charlie Mulgrew.
IN: Liam Kelly & Stuart Findlay. pic.twitter.com/cdeTGD59Wi
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) March 17, 2019
Highlights from Scotland’s Nations League win vs Albania and Israel
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.