Thursday, December 5, 2019

Prediction: Cyprus vs Scotland

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 15 Nov 2019

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Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 2/1

Bookmaker: bet365

On Saturday afternoon, Cyprus will be playing host to Scotland at their GSP Stadium in the ninth round of Group I of the Euro 2020 qualifications. The group is quite settled in terms of who goes directly to the tournament next year, with neither of these teams having any chance of making it this way.

Cyprus

The home team go into this match sitting in third place with 10 points, a whole 11 less than Russia in second. With just two matches to go and a maximum of six points they could possibly add to their tally, it’s quite clear why their chances are gone.

Nonetheless, with two wins in their last three games (the third being a 0-5 home defeat to Russia) their form seems to have improved lately, and they might be expected to play for pride in front of their own fans. But there is absolutely nothing else for them to play for.

Team News

Despite the fact that Cyprus have nothing to play for on Saturday, they will likely go with the strongest line-up they can muster. It means coach Ran Ben Shimon is set to name the same XI players as against Russia a month ago, but without left-back Konstantinos Laifis, who was sent off in that game. At the other end, the front line of Pieros Sotiriou, Matija Spoljaric and Ioannis Kosti will certainly do their best to improve the overall sour taste this campaign leaves for their national team.

Scotland

The Scots will me far more relaxed in this game. They are a point behind Cyprus in the group and like the home side, have no chance of qualifying through the main process. However, as the winners of League C Group 1 in the UEFA Nations League, they are guaranteed a place in the play-offs due to take place in March, and their minds are likely already on the draw scheduled for November 22nd.

Therefore, they will be under no pressure at all to achieve any kind of result in this game – in no circumstances, under no conditions, in no case whatsoever is it important for their bid to qualify for the European Championship next year.

Team News

Steve Clark in the away dugout will be without several important players, which is understandable given the situation. Defender Andy Robertson of Liverpool, midfielder Scott McTominay of Manchester United and Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser have all withdrawn from the squad. It will be a good opportunity for Clark to try a few players out, or check if some of the ideas he hasn’t had the chance to put into practice actually work, without any fear or consequences if they don’t.

Conclusion

Under the circumstances, it is expected that the desire of the home side to sign out with a bang, as well as their recent good form, will be enough for them to win the game. They will care about the result. It could be a chance for some of the fringe players for Scotland to prove their worth to the coach, but that may not be enough to bag them a rather irrelevant point on the board.

Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 2/1

Bookmaker: bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.

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