Having won five from five so far, Scotland can secure their place at Euro 2024 if they avoid defeat in Spain. It would be one of Steve Clarke’s greatest achievements to date, and there’s a real hope that they can not just qualify for next summer’s tournament, but make a real impact once they are there. Below I take a look at the markets for the crucial qualifier.
Scotland manager Steve Clarke has not called up a replacement for injured defender Kieran Tierney, while he now also has to cope with the loss of Ryan Jack. The Rangers midfielder picked up an injury against Aberdeen and missed two matches prior to the international break, before withdrawing from this squad.
Luis de la Fuente also has some notable absentees to contend with ahead of this one. Barcelona star Pedri is still out injured, as are Dani Olmo and Marco Asensio. Meanwhile, teenage star Lamine Yamal has reportedly left the training camp having been assessed by medical staff.
Final result: Draw @ 9/2
Spain may have put seven past Georgia and six past Cyprus in their last two qualifiers, but that means nothing when it comes to this match. Scotland have already proved they can keep them out as they famously beat them 2-0 in the reverse fixture to strengthen their position as group leaders.
Scotland are not only a talented outfit these days, but a resolute one. They know that a point will be enough to secure them a place at Euro 2024 and when the odds are stacked against them, they can pull together as a team. It will suit them to let Spain have the ball and they can defend for 90 minutes. However, they also boast attacking threats, especially from set pieces.
Remember when England needed a draw against Italy to make it to the 1998 World Cup? They dug in, and with a bloodied Paul Ince leading the troops, held on for a 0-0 draw. I can see a similar performance coming here from Scotland. They are absolutely desperate to get to another European Championships and to do it in Spain would be a truly iconic achievement. They only need a point. They can get it.
Final score: Spain 0-0 Scotland @ 12/1
The 9/2 on offer for the draw is excellent value in my opinion, but we can push things even further by picking out a correct score. Scotland are going to play this game sensibly. They aren’t going to be flooding forward chasing goals and they are going to want to take their time when it comes to throw-ins and set pieces.
If they can make it to half-time with their clean sheet intact they will have real belief that they can protect it until full-time. Remember, a clean sheet means Scotland will have qualified automatically for Euro 2024. It is the only thing that matters as they travel to Spain. This may not be a classic encounter, but just as England did in 1997, if Scotland can secure a 0-0 draw, it will go down as one of their greatest ever results. 12/1 on a result Scotland will be desperate for, feels slightly too long in my book.