Scotland’s campaign received a major shot in the arm on Saturday as Scott McTominay struck a 94th-minute winner hosting Israel, leaving them four points clear of their opponents and Austria, with second place theirs to lose now.
It was a third win on the bounce after victories over Moldova and Austria in the previous international break, and they’ll expect to make it four in a row against a team they beat 4-0 at Hampden Park in March.
The Faroe Islands suffered a sixth defeat in eight outings as they went down 2-0 hosting Austria. They’ve now lost 15 of their past 18 qualifiers, with their only victories coming over Malta and Moldova, as their other point was also picked up against the latter.
They’ve only scored in one of their past 11 such defeats, while since the start of their 2018 World Cup qualifiers, 16 of 19 losses have seen a minimum two-goal margin.
Scotland To Win To Nil
Scotland have now lost just three of 12 fixtures this calendar year, with two of those coming at Euro 2020 to the Czech Republic and Croatia, while the other was inflicted by clear group leaders Denmark.
This spell included stalemates with Austria, Israel, the Netherlands and England, but they’ve taken victories over the lesser sides as in addition to wins over Austria and Israel, they’ve also beaten the Faroe Islands, Luxembourg and Moldova.
Scotland -1 Handicap
Steve Clarke’s Kilmarnock side were good defensively and with Scotland lacking in star names, appeared the right man to turn them into a solid, competitive outfit.
13 of their 18 games since October 2020 have seen fewer than three goals, as six of their seven victories over this period saw them register clean sheets.
John McGinn To Score Anytime
Although not blessed with firepower, the visitors have only failed to score in three of their past 12 fixtures, though their most potent threat has come from midfield.
John McGinn’s stunner against Israel means he’s now netted 11 times from 13 starts in qualifiers since September 2019, though Lyndon Dykes will hope to continue his current streak having scored in each of Scotland’s past three games, despite missing a penalty against Israel last time out.
Che Adams has been ruled out after going off injured in the second half last time out, with Ryan Christie his likely replacement, though Kevin Nisbet and Ryan Fraser offer alternatives. However, Clarke’s hand is strengthened at the other end, with key centre back Grant Hanley returning from suspension.
SCOTLAND TO WIN TO NIL
SCOTLAND -1 HANDICAP
JOHN MCGINN TO SCORE ANYTIME