A run of four consecutive victories has placed Scotland in the driving seat for second place behind runaway group leaders Denmark. Only Israel can mathematically catch them now, with just two games remaining, and a gap of four points means that another win here will guarantee them a play-off spot.
There’s no room for error with Scotland’s final encounter coming against Denmark, even if their opponents for that one may consider experimenting with their line-up having already won the group.
Nonetheless, a weakened Danish side isn’t something Scotland will want to reply upon and Steve Clarke will expect his side to get the job done here, though will hope for a better output than the reverse fixture where they only managed a 1-0 win at Hampden Park.
Moldova have managed just a single point in these qualifiers, as even that was picked up hosting the Faroe Islands.
That leaves them a pitiful W1-D5-L32 in qualifiers going back to their Euro 2016 campaign, with Russia, Liechtenstein, Georgia, Andorra and the Faroe Islands the only teams they’ve gotten any joy from.
The most impressive result was of course the draw with Russia, though that did come back in October 2014, while they’ve lost 14 of the last 15 qualifiers.
Scotland To Win To Nil
Although Moldova have fared badly in terms of points, they haven’t always embarrassed themselves in terms of the margin of defeats. Denmark put 12 goals past them without reply over two games, though they’ve only lost two of their other six qualifiers during this campaign by more than a single strike.
They even limited France to a 2-1 win in Paris during the Euro 2020 qualifiers, so the visitors shouldn’t just expect to turn up and collect the required result without any effort at all.
A solid defence should help Scotland achieve their aim and all but one of their eight victories since October 2020 have seen them shut their opponents out, as six of these ended 1-0.
Moreover, Moldova have only scored in five of their past 17 fixtures and never more than once in a single game. Those goals came against the Faroe Islands and Israel twice each, as well as a friendly with Azerbaijan, so Scotland must fancy their chances of a clean sheet in this one.
John McGinn To Score Anytime
Steve Clarke is without centre-back Grant Hanley, with John Souttar called up in his place, though has bigger problems at the other end with both Lyndon Dykes and Ryan Christie suspended.
However, Che Adams heads into the international break with two goals from three appearances for Southampton, while John McGinn has consistently delivered for the national side in qualifiers.
Excluding play-offs with Israel and Serbia, as well as a three-minute cameo against Belgium, the Aston Villa midfielder has bagged 11 goals in 12 appearances in qualifiers since June 2019.
SCOTLAND TO WIN TO NIL
JOHN MCGINN TO SCORE ANYTIME