Cyprus enjoy home advantage over Scotland as they seek revenge. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse expects a close match...

Cyprus v Scotland
Saturday, 14:00
Live on Sky Sports

Playing for pride

There's little left to play for in Euro qualifying Group I. After eight games Belgium are out in front with a 100 per cent record. They top the table, sitting three points ahead of Russia in second. The group winner hasn't been decided yet, but it would be a bold punter who went against The Red Devils at this late stage.
Further down the pecking order and third plays fourth in an attempt to finish best of the rest. Cyprus sit in the bronze medal position, one point ahead of a Scotland side who secured only their third win last time out. The current betting has the away win as favourite and that will catch the eye of value hunters who will be only too happy to oppose a jolly who have lost four of their last five.

Cyprus hammered in hat-trick bid

Cyprus have held their own during this qualifying campaign, without ever putting any real pressure on the major places. Their stats so far read three wins and one draw against four defeats. They've scored 13 and conceded 12, leaving +1 in the goal difference tally. That's seven better than Scotland who are one below them in the pecking order.
Ran Ben Shimon's side won two games on the trot, hammering San Marino 4-0 away from home before holding on to beat a determined Kazakhstan side at Astana Arena last month. They fancied the hat-trick to breathe new life into the campaign, but it was never on the cards when hosting Russia last time. Stanislav Cherchesov's troops made a mockery of what was expected to be a tough match, strolling to a stunning 5-0 result to secure a top two finish.

Scotland put six past San Marino

Steve Clarke endured a tough start to his reign as Scotland manager. The former Kilmarnock boss led his new recruits to a valuable 2-1 win over Saturday's opponents at Hampden back in June but followed that with four defeats. A simply woeful run, on paper anyway, but the fact each of those defeats were inflicted by Russia and Belgium makes it a little easier for the Tartan Army to stomach.
Scotland did as expected when falling to a 3-0 defeat away to Belgium before losing 2-1 in Glasgow when Russia came calling. Belgium killed off any slight hopes Scotland had of a top two finish with a comfortable win at Hampden before Russia stuck the boot in with a 4-0 at the Luzhniki Stadium. That painful run finally came to an end when Scotland beat San Marino 6-0 last month, John McGinn netting a first-half hat-trick as Clarke rotated the squad and put his faith in youth.

Strong case for the draw

It's difficult to know what to make of this game as there's nothing for either side to play for. Steve Clarke got the reaction he wanted from his squad last time and will be looking beyond this match to the upcoming play-off gained through the UEFA Nations League. The gaffer must play the long game if he is to restore pride to the team.
Betfair traders expect the dark blues to record a second win on the bounce and have the away day available as a 7/5 favourite. Cyprus catch the eye at 2/1 and you'll get the draw at 21/10. A strong case could be made for either but we're confident the visitors would see the value in a share. Remember, it took an 89th minute winner from Oli Burke to separate the two at Hampden.

Both have struggled for goals

Both teams were on the scoresheet in that 2-1 win for Scotland over Cyprus earlier this year, but Scotland have failed to find the net in each of their last two away days, conceding seven in the process. They also failed to score in three of their last five. Cyprus failed to score in their last home match - that 5-0 beating against Russia.
Scotland will be keen to tighten up their defence and we don't expect Cyprus to go all out attack either. No in the both teams to score market rates as a worthwhile addition to your accumulators at 9/10. Under 2.5 goals is another deserving of a second look at 13/20 - both quotes taken from the sportsbook.

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