Scotland would have targeted one win from this latest pair of Euro 2016 qualifiers to retain their strong position of at least reaching the play-offs ahead of next summer’s finals in France.
However, defeat in Georgia, where the Scots failed to even register a shot on target, has threatened to make this a disastrous week for Gordon Strachan, with the second showdown of the double header being against World Cup winners Germany.
Defeat from the jaws of success is nothing especially new for Scotland supporters in relatively recent times, with a 2006 defeat to Belarus ending promising hopes of Walter Smith guiding them to the World Cup, while another reverse to Georgia was unfortunate for Alex McLeish during qualification for Euro 2008.
Strachan has stated that Scotland will not be playing for a point against Germany and they have only lost once at home in eight fixtures in the last two years – to England.
And past results against Germany indicate that things will be tight at Hampden Park. No meeting has even been settled by more than two goals, while all three this century have not been won by more than one.
Scotland are 4/6 to beat Germany if given a two-goal headstart. But the best betting options may well lie in siding with Germany in two markets at 11/10.
With Scotland truthfully needing to win to keep alive an outside chance of qualifying for France, spaces are bound to be left for the likes of Muller and Mesut Ozil to exploit, with the former especially important if Germany play with Mario Gotze as a false nine in attack as they did when beating Poland last time 3-1.
Muller has already opened the scoring in three of Germany’s Group D matches and is 4/1 to do so again. Alternatively, he can be backed at 13/8 to find the target at any time in a Germany victory over Scotland.
The Germans have also scored first in all seven outings since a 2-0 defeat to Poland last October and an early goal at Hampden Park will allow them to dictate possession.
Joachim Low’s men look well worth backing to overcome a -1 handicap at 11/10, while the same price also appears generous on Germany leading at both half-time and full-time in Scotland.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.