Verdict: Spain win
Best Odds: 7/10
Two nations who will be looking to clinch back-to-back qualifying victories on Tuesday night, Scotland will welcome European heavyweights Spain to Hampden.
Starting with the hosts, opening their European qualifying campaign with a rampant display on home soil over the weekend, Scotland should find the mood in their camp at a real high. Eventually breezing their way to a 3-0 romp against Cyprus, Steve Clarke’s men will have their sights firmly set on finding a route out of Group A. Gaining a string of plaudits last year as they secured a Nations League promotion, the one-time Kilmarnock boss his seen his squad lose just one of their last six appearances across all competitions. With their eye-catching flurry highlighted by a 2-1 win against British rivals Ireland on September 24th, the Tartan Army have also continued to gain a recent reputation for their success on home soil. It should be highlighted, Tuesday’s hosts have won each of their last four straight contests at Hampden by an aggregate score of 10-1.
Coming off the bench and bagging a brace against Cyprus last weekend, Manchester United star Scott McTominay should be handed a full recall on Tuesday night. The 26-year-old could replace Rangers’ Ryan Jack at the heart of Clarke’s midfield.
Southampton striker Che Adams will once again spearhead Scotland’s charge at Hampden. The one-time Birmingham marksman should be joined in attack by Aston Villa’s John McGinn.
As for the visitors, while Spain might have endured real World Cup heartbreak out in Qatar over the winter, La Roja certainly came roaring back over the weekend. Storming their way to a 3-0 romp at home against Norway, the Reds are clearly showing no signs of a Middle Eastern hangover. With new boss Luis de La Fuente getting his tenure in charge off to a dream start, there is no doubt that the European icons will be desperate to make another qualifying statement in Glasgow. Likewise, claiming a 3-1 victory when they last met Scotland way back in 2011, it should also be noted that Spain have continued on a real European qualifying romp while on foreign soil. In fact, on a run that stems back to October 2014, Tuesday’s guests are unbeaten in each of their last nine straight qualifying appearances on the road.
Coming off the bench and bagging a speedy brace on his international debut against Norway over the weekend, Espanyol’s Joselu could be handed a first La Roja start at Hampden. PSG’s Fabian Ruiz will also be hoping for a full recall in midweek.
Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte should will once again partner Nacho at the heart of Spain’s defence on Tuesday night. Likewise, Chelsea shot-stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga will start between the sticks in Glasgow.
Key Factors to Consider
- When Scotland and Spain last met back in 2011, La Roja claimed a 3-1 victory in Alicante.
- Likewise, the former world champions have lost just one of their last eight meetings against the Tartan Army.
- However, Scotland have lost just one of their last six appearances across all competitions.
- Spain are unbeaten in each of their previous nine straight European qualifying contests on foreign soil.
- Both Scotland and Spain opened their Group A campaign with respective 3-0 victories against Cyprus and Norway.
Although Scotland might have opened their qualifying adventure with a routine 3-0 victory against Cyprus over the weekend, Clarke’s side will know that they face a real heavyweight challenge on Tuesday night. While the Tartan Army might be fancying their chances of finding a route out of Group A this year, the midweek hosts met a Spain squad who claimed a perfect post-World Cup response a few days ago. Picking up their own 3-0 victory at home against Norway, it is no secret that La Roja are tipped as a runaway pick to cruise their way to next year’s European Championships. With Spain claiming a 3-1 victory when they last met their Group A rivals back in 2011, we are expecting an away win at Hampden.
Verdict: Spain win
Best Odds: 7/10
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