Scotland v Croatia: Fresher hosts can end by making a point
Having already beaten Croatia away in what was by far their best result of Group A, Gordon Strachan’s Scotland side will be confident that they can sign off with another positive result at Hampden Park.
Despite not winning a home game during this testing qualification process, a well-rested and improving Scotland team that has won two of their last three qualifiers, can restore some national pride by taking at least a point against Croatia.
Ladbrokes have priced that elusive home win at 9/4, while the draw – which is probably the most appealing result of the three – is available at 23/10.
Because there is still a pretty unlikely, but nonetheless possible chance that Croatia could yet fail to qualify for the play-offs if they were to lose this game, taking the 8/13 on the Scotland double chance or indeed the 7/5 on the draw no bet, both appeal.
Having gone three games without a win in Group A themselves, which sandwiched a draw in Serbia with home losses to Scotland and most recently Belgium, the Croats’ confidence will certainly have been dented, after a really promising first half of their campaign.
And when you consider Scotland have the fresher legs of the two squads – having sat out the weekend fixtures – as well as harbouring the added motivation of potentially leapfrogging Wales in the group, a positive result seems plausible.
In the absence of Jordan Rhodes and Steven Fletcher through injury, it seems most likely that Strachan turns to his match-winner from Zagreb, Steven Naismith, to lead the line again in front of a packed out Hampden.
The Everton man is a decent-looking 7/1 to open the scoring and a reasonably priced 9/4 shot to score any time against Croatia.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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