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Scotland vs Cyprus betting tips: Euro 2020 Qualifier match preview & predictions

Scotland vs Cyprus prediction: Scotland 2-0 Cyprus

The Steve Clarke era begins for Scotland.

After the disaster in Kazakhstan, a managerial change was needed.

Steve Clarke’s appointment last month has reinvigorated Scotland players and fans alike but now it is time to perform.

Will he get off to a winning start over Cyprus at Hampden?

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Scotland vs Cyprus: Who will win?

The Tartan Army are 1/2 to win their first home game of these qualifiers.

Cyprus have lost all five of their previous meetings with Scotland but are 11/2 to win this one.

A draw, which is no good for anybody, is 11/4.

Under 2.5 goals is 8/13.

Both teams to score no is 4/7.

Scotland to win and under 2.5 goals is 15/8.

Ryan Fraser

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 20: Ryan Fraser of Scotland runs with the ball during the UEFA Nations League C group one match between Scotland and Israel at Hampden Park on November 20, 2018 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Ryan Fraser got his first ever Scotland goal in the winner in Albania back in November. He’s 7/1 to score first and 3/1 to add to his tally.

SFA Player of the year James Forrest got a hat-trick in Scotland last home game. He’s 5/1 to score first and 23/10 to score anytime.

Pieros Sotiriou has scored eight goals for Cyprus, including two in March. He is 8/1 to score first and 7/2 to score anytime.

Both Ryan Fraser and James Forrest to score is 14/1.

Both Stuart Armstrong and Ryan Fraser to score is 18/1.

Both Callum McGregor and Stuart Armstrong to score is 55/1.

Scotland vs Cyprus: Match preview

A new dawn for Scotland.

Will Steve Clarke be the first man to lead Scotland to a major tournament in the 21st century?

He takes over a side who are a bit of a mess right now.

They travelled to Astana on matchday one to take on Kazakhstan full of hope and optimism.

However, the home side ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.

The worst night in Scottish football history surely.

Just three days later, they were at Stadio Olimpico di Serravalle to face the 211th and lowest ranked FIFA nation, San Marino.

A goal in either half from Kenny McLean and Johnny Russell sealed a highly unconvincing 2-0 victory.

Those dreadful performances were the end for Alex McLeish who was sacked the following month.

However, it could be via something McLeish achieved that Scotland make Euro 2020.

Back in the autumn, Scotland took part in the UEFA Nations League knowing that if they won their group they’d secure a play-off place.

They beat Albania 2-0 at Hampden before a disastrous 2-1 defeat in Haifa to Israel.

However, Scotland knew that victory in back to back games in November would secure top spot.

In the first of those game, a brace from James Forrest in Shkodër helped secure a thumping 4-0 win over Albania.

Three days later, Forrest was the hero once more, netting a hat-trick as they beat Israel 3-2 at Hampden.

That means, if Scotland fail to qualify directly from this group, they have a League C play-off to look forward to in March 2020.

With Russia and Belgium also in Group I, that seems like an inevitability.

Still, Steve Clark will be desperate to get off to a winning start so will he do just that?

Hampden Park

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JUNE 07: A general view during the Scotland training session at Hampden Park on June 7, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Cyprus to leave Scotland with something?

As for Cyprus they, just like Scotland, are one of four nations in this group on three points.

They kicked off this campaign with back-to-back home games starting with San Marino at GSP Stadium.

Two Pieros Sotiriou penalties as well as goals from Ioannis Kousoulos, Georgios Efrem and Konstantinos Laifis wrapped up the most one sided 5-0 win you’ll ever see.

That was followed by a somewhat more daunting task, hosting Belgium.

The visitors were two up after just 18 minutes and that’s how it finished.

Unlike Scotland, Cyprus do not have a UEFA Nations League play-off safety net.

They amassed just five points in Group C3 and were relegated as the lowest ranked third-placed team.

Cyprus have never qualified for a major finals in 28 attempts and that wait looks like it’ll go on.

Still, they’d love to leave Hampden with something so will they inflict more misery on Scotland?

Scotland team news vs Cyprus

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 19: Scott McTominay looks during Scotland Training at Hampden Park on November 19, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

As this is Steve Clarke’s first game in charge, it is very hard to predict his starting XI.

Scott Bain is highly likely to win his fourth cap in goal.

He kept 22 clean sheets in 31 appearances for Celtic this season.

This squad contains four players that Clark managed at Kilmarnock this season.

One of those, Stephen O’Donnell, is likely to start at right-back.

At left-back, Kieran Tierney is out with injury so captain and Champions League winner Andrew Robertson will win his 30th cap.

It’s likely to be an inexperienced centre-back pairing.

Two 22 year olds, Scott McKenna and John Souttar, will hope to be the bedrock of Scotland’s defence for years to come.

In midfield, Clark has seven really good options vying for three places.

Callum McGregor and John McGinn have been outstanding for their respective clubs this season and are expected to start in the deeper role.

Manchester United’s Scott McTominay, who’s more defensively minded than those two, may well come in for the trip to Belgium on Tuesday.

Just like in the Nations League, the two danger men are the two wide men.

James Forrest scored 18 goals and provided 20 assists for Celtic this season and has been directly involved in six goals in his last four Scotland games.

Ryan Fraser meanwhile scored eight goals and provided 15 assists for Bournemouth this season and has been directly involved in five goals in his last three Scotland appearances.

Very impressive numbers from two top players.

Up front, it could be any one of four players.

Eamonn Brophy, Oli Burke and Marc McNulty will all feel they deserve the shirt.

However Johnny Russell, who scored his first ever Scotland goal in San Marino, is likely to retain his place.

He has scored seven goals in 13 MLS appearances for struggling Sporting Kansas City this season.

This is a very talented Scotland team and one that should have too much for Cyprus.

Cyprus team news vs Scotland

Euro 2020 live streaming

ROME, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 22: A general view of UEFA Euro Trophy in the Stadio Olinpico during the UEFA Euro Roma 2020 Official Logo unveiling at Palazzo delle Armi on September 22, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

As for Cyprus, it’ll be interesting to see how Ran Ben Shimon approaches this one.

They lined-up with a back four against San Marino but reverted to a 5-4-1 for the visit of Belgium.

Away from home, they’re likely to go with the latter.

Urko Pardo is expected to keep his place ahead of the more experienced Constantinos Panagi in goal.

Southend United’s Jason Demetriou is expected to be left on the bench.

Dossa Júnior, Konstantinos Laifis and captain Giorgos Merkis will make up the back three.

Ioannis Kousoulos and Nicholas Ioannou will certainly operate more like full-backs than wing-backs.

Despite being on the books of Juventus, Grigoris Kastanos is unlikely to start.

Kostakis Artymatas and Renato Margaça will be the midfield duo.

Georgios Efrem and Fotios Papoulis will be asked to cover a lot of ground out wide.

Pieros Sotiriou is likely to be very isolated up front.

He’s scored eight international goals but four of those have come against Gibraltar or San Marino.

Will this side cause a shock in Glasgow?

Predicted Scotland line-up vs Cyprus

Predicted Scotland line-up vs Cyprus

Predicted Scotland line-up vs Cyprus.

Predicted Cyprus line-up vs Scotland

Predicted Cyprus line-up vs Scotland

Predicted Cyprus line-up vs Scotland.

Nations League highlights: Albania 0-4 Scotland

Nations League highlights: Scotland 3-2 Israel

Euro qualifier highlights: Kazakhstan 3-0 Scotland

Euro qualifier highlights: San Marino 0-2 Scotland

Euro qualifier highlights: Cyprus 0-2 Belgium

The latest tweets from Scotland pre Cyprus

The latest tweets from Cyprus pre Scotland

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

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