Scotland v Slovakia: Back Scots to shake off the shackles and cut loose

Scotland return to Hampden following Thursday's Euro 2020 playoff win. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse is backing a more attacking approach in his look at the Betfair odds...

Scotland v Slovakia
Sunday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports

Scots back at Hampden

Scotland play their second match at Hampden in three days when hosting Slovakia on Sunday evening. This UEFA Nations League Group B2 fixture gives the locals a chance to build momentum following Thursday's win over Israel while strengthening their position at the top of the pool.

This weekend's match will be the third time Scotland and Slovakia have met in competitive action with the head-to-head stats showing one win each. Slovakia eased to a 3-0 home victory in a World Cup game back in 2016 but an own-goal from Martin Skrtel gave the Scots their revenge in the rematch.

Scotland ride their luck

Scotland secured a famous win over Israel in midweek when claiming a Euro 2020 playoff semi-final on penalties. A lengthy 120 minutes of play passed without a goal or either side threatening to break the deadlock, ensuring the game went to penalties. The locals aren't known for their luck in shootouts but held their nerve, beating Israel 5-3 with Kenny McLean rifling home to set-up a final against Serbia next month.

It wasn't attractive football by any standard and although the Tartan Army were spared the misery of watching from the stands, things weren't any easier for them sat at home following the live action on TV. The victors finished with just 42% of the ball possession and failed to register a single shot on target despite 17 attempts. Some criticised Clarke's negative tactics but the team are through and fans now hope they'll be a little more adventurous in the Nations League.

Slovakia edge past Ireland

Slovakia were also in action on Thursday and it was a similar story for them as they edged past Republic of Ireland in their Euro 2020 playoff semi-final. That match also failed to produce a goal after 90 minutes and extra-time so was decided on penalties where Serbia blasted through thanks to a 4-2 scoreline. Conor Hourihane almost won it for his team with a late chance but Ireland's failure to hit the target came back to haunt them.

Slovakia booked their place in the final, but they were no more convincing than Scotland, struggling to create clear scoring chances. They trip to Glasgow sitting bottom of the group without a win in their first two. Slovakia opened with defeat to the Czech Republic before playing out a draw with Israel in their most recent Nations League match.

Home win favourite

Scotland never do things the easy way. They snatched an important win on Thursday and that will do wonders for confidence in the camp and Betfair traders expect the dark blues to build momentum from there. Scotland are on an impressive run of form and are offered at an eye-catching even money to win again. Slovakia's lowly position in the group explains why they are 13/5 with the draw 9/4.

Under 2.5 goals is 13/20 with over 2.5 chalked up at 11/10 on the Betfair Sportsbook. No both teams to score can be backed at 9/10 with the same price attached to yes.

Expect a more adventurous approach

Scotland huffed and puffed their way through Thursday's game and frustrated fans by passing the ball back rather than advancing into attacking areas of the pitch. With the shackles of playoff football now removed for a few weeks, we may see a more adventurous approach from Clarke.

Both teams have scored in each of Scotland's previous two games in this competition and that is also the case for their opponents. Slovakia have conceded four goals in two games and that suggests a bet on both to score in a Scotland win may be worth a shot at 7/2 (Betfair Sportsbook). Those after a bigger price can try their luck on Lyndon Dykes to score first at odds of 13/2 which looks value.

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