Scotland vs San Marino prediction: Scotland 3-0 San Marino
It’s been a truly miserable UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying campaign for Scotland.
On Thursday, they suffered their fourth defeat in a row so now can no longer qualify through this group.
However, they do of course have the UEFA Nations League C play-offs to look forward to in March.
Thus, it is vital for them to build up some sort of momentum ahead of what they hope will be two massive fixtures.
Will spirits be lifted against the lowest-ranked international side planet earth has to offer?
Highlights of Russia 4-0 Scotland
Highlights of San Marino 0-2 Scotland
Scotland vs San Marino: Who will win?
Scotland are massive odds on favourites at 1/100 to claim a win, something that has been a rarity of late.
San Marino are 40/1 to pull off one of the biggest shocks in international football history by winning at Hampden.
Even a draw would be a truly embarrassing defeat for the home side and that is 20/1.
Over 2.5 goals is 1/20.
Scotland to win and over 2.5 goals is 1/7.
Scotland to win and both teams to score no is 1/12.
Lawrence Shankland is expected to be given his full-international debut up front. The Dundee United forward is 6/4 to break the deadlock and 1/11 to open his international account.
Ryan Fraser will also fancy his chances of add a goal or two. The Bournemouth winger is 7/2 to open the scoring and 8/15 to net anytime.
Mirko Palazzi is the only member of the San Marino squad who has ever scored an international goal. He is 5000/1 to score first and 500/1 to score anytime.
Both Ryan Christie and Shankland to score is 11/10.
Both John McGinn and Shankland to score is 15/8.
Both Andy Robertson and Ryan Christie to score is 15/2.
Both Andy Robertson and Scott McTominay to score is 16/1.
Scotland vs San Marino: Match preview
It’s certainly safe to say that this qualifying campaign has not gone to plan.
On Thursday night at the Luzhniki Stadium, Scotland conceded four-times in the final half an hour to suffer a second straight 4-0 defeat, this time at the hands of Russia.
That loss means it is now mathematically impossible for them to finish in the top two of this group.
But Moscow is not where this campaign was really lost.
Since the embarrassing 3-0 defeat in Kazakhstan all the way back on matchday one in March, it’s been an uphill task.
Even a 2-0 win in San Marino three days later was not enough to save Alex McLeish’s job.
Steve Clark came in and won his first match, narrowly, 2-1 at home against Cyprus.
However, since then, they’ve suffered four straight defeats.
In June, they went down 3-0 in Brussels.
Then, last month, it was back to back home losses, 2-1 to Russia and 4-0 to Belgium.
The only saving grace for Scotland is the UEFA Nations League C play-off that was secured 11 months ago.
However, they must build up some sort of momentum ahead of that.
After this one, they travel to Cyprus before hosting Kazakhstan to finish this campaign.
These are three very winnable games and that’s exactly what this side need to do.
The play-off path Scotland will be in is likely to also feature Serbia, Norway and Bulgaria.
Those will not be easy games so it is important they go into them with some confidence.
Can they lift spirits with a big win here?
San Marino to cause the biggest of all shocks?
San Marino should be ideal opposition for a struggling side.
They lost 9-0 in Belgium on Thursday so remain pointless in Group I.
That was also their second 9-0 loss in just five qualifiers following a defeat by the same scoreline to Russia in Saransk back in June.
In this group, they have conceded 37 goals and not scored any yet although, only two of those goals were scored by Scotland in the reverse fixture in Serravalle.
A year ago, they also amassed zero points in their UEFA Nations League D group that contained Belarus, Luxembourg and Moldova.
They were the only side in League D to end up pointless, vindicating their position as the 210th and worst international side in the FIFA World Rankings.
Their overall record in competitive internationals stands at: 145 played, 142 lost, three draws and zero wins.
Surely not even Scotland will drop points here, will they?
Scotland team news vs San Marino
As Scotland are now out of the running for automatic qualification, Steve Clarke’s priority is to now find his best XI ahead of the Nations League play-offs.
With Allan McGregor retired from international football and Craig Gordon and Scott Bain out of favour at Celtic, David Marshall is the number one goalkeeper and will win his 33rd cap.
At left-back, Kieran Tierney has not played for Scotland since the trip to San Marino in March and is still out due to lack of fitness.
So, Andy Robertson will captain his nation for the 14th time.
At centre-back, they’re without Liam Cooper, David Bates, Grant Hanley, John Souttar and Scott McKenna all through injury.
Mikey Devlin did ok on his international debut on Thursday and will continue, as will Charlie Mulgrew.
Liam Palmer, surprisingly, came in for Stephen O’Donnell in mid-week but is expected to keep his place at right-back once again.
In midfield, there’s no Tom Cairney, Kenny McLean or Ryan Jack.
Scott McTominay was suspended on Thursday for a game he surely would’ve started otherwise.
Nevertheless, as he’s a defensive midfielder he’s unlikely to come in for this one.
John McGinn will start once again as will Callum McGregor.
Ryan Christie could come in though for John Fleck who won his first cap in Moscow.
Out-wide, Ryan Fraser will keep his place but, on the other side, James Forrest should come back in for Robert Snodgrass.
At centre-forward, Oliver Burke, who’s on loan at Deportivo Alavés, got the nod on Thursday but went off injured at half time and is unlikely to be fit in time.
Lawrence Shankland came on for Burke and is expected to make his full-debut in this game.
He has scored 13 goals in eight Championship appearances for his new club Dundee United this season.
Surely this side will blow San Marino away.
San Marino team news vs Scotland
As for Franco Varrella’s side, his squad is entirely made up of part-time players.
His players play in either their domestic top division or the lower leagues of the Italian pyramid system, Serie C, Serie D or even lower.
There has been a changing of the guard in goal recently.
Simone Benedettini is now the number one having displaced Aldo Junior Simoncini.
The latter conceded 247 goals in his 60 international appearances.
There will be a Simoncini in the XI though.
Aldo’s brother Davide will captain the side at centre-back, winning his 61st cap.
Cristian Brolli will keep his place despite scoring an own goal in Belgium on Thursday.
That’s his second international own goal with the other coming against England in 2015.
Enrico Golinucci, Marcello Mularoni and Mattia Giardi will be the midfield trio.
Up front will be Nicola Nanni and Marco Bernardi who could well be very isolated.
Although, they’re probably used to it by now.
This is a team who haven’t even scored a goal in any of their last 15 competitive internationals, only netting five in their last 64 matches.
They have conceded 309 goals in that time so surely even Scotland will put a few past them in this one.
Predicted Scotland line-up vs San Marino
Predicted San Marino line-up vs Scotland
Highlights of Scotland 2-1 Cyprus
Highlights of Belgium 3-0 Scotland
Highlights of Scotland 1-2 Russia
Highlights of Scotland 0-4 Belgium
Highlights of Belgium 9-0 San Marino
Highlights of Russia 9-0 San Marino
The latest tweets from Scotland pre San Marino
FULL TIME | Russia 4 – 0 Scotland
It is all over in Moscow. Goals for Dzyuba, Ozdoev and Golovin give the home side win. pic.twitter.com/GV3MPhSNAM
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) October 10, 2019
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) October 10, 2019
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) September 9, 2019
The latest tweets from San Marino pre Scotland
— FSGC | official (@FSGC_official) October 10, 2019
European Qualifiers | #SMRCYP
— FSGC | official (@FSGC_official) September 9, 2019
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.