Sunderland man boosted to score against Lewandowski-less Poland

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Anyone looking to have a bet on Scotland’s trip to face Poland will surely make the first goalscorer market one of their first ports of call. However, the name they most likely want to see in the list will be missing.

Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski is ruled out of the friendly match, which Poland are 21/20 to win, with a ligament strain, opening up the market to a list of otherwise untapped candidates.

It’s handy then that Ladbrokes have taken the decision to boost the price of Steven Fletcher to ripple the net first from 7/1 out to 8s, with Lewandowski’s absence a welcome improvement to the Sunderland man’s chances.

Fletcher made his first appearance since January in the last 30 minutes of the League Cup Final at the weekend, and will surely take the chance to get some more match fitness into his legs from the start in Warsaw.

In a season wrecked by trips to the physio room, the former Wolves front man has only notched three times, but has a Premier League scoring pedigree unrivalled by his compatriots.

Since his debut 2010/11 campaign with Wolves, Fletcher has scored at least 10 league goals in three consecutive campaigns and was in the form of his life when first signing for the Black Cats, scoring five times in his first five appearances.

Four of those five goals broke their respective game’s deadlock, proving the 26-year-old’s knack for starting a game strongly, and with one of his three this term also putting the scoreboard operators into work, a punt on him in Poland isn’t completely bonkers.

What aids Fletcher’s cause is that Gordon Strachan has got Scotland scoring. The Tartan Army have celebrated goals in seven of Strachan’s 10 games in charge of his national side and they have taken the lead in all of the last nine clashes in which they’ve found the net.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.