AFTER their excellent performance against Germany last month, can Scotland take three points against Georgia this weekend? Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) gives us his thoughts.
Scotland v Georgia | 17:00 | Sky Sports 5
The money has come for Scotland as they play their opening Euro 2016 home qualifier against Georgia, but are punters onto a good thing? There’s no doubt that Gordon Strachan has made a huge difference to the side since he took over from Craig Levein in January 2013. After two initial defeats to Wales and Serbia, Scotland then won 1-0 in Croatia at odds of 12/1 in June 2013 and there’s been no looking back ever since.
Scotland lost their first match in 7 last month when they went down 2-1 to Germany, but before that won in Norway, Poland and Macedonia and did the double over Croatia. Form that stands up to anything Scotland have produced in the last five years.
What about Georgia though? Well, despite picking up only five points from their World Cup 2014 qualifying group, they emerged with real credit. Whipping boys? Not a bit of it. The Georgians had Spain and France in their group and never lost by more than 2 goals on away turf. At home they drew with France and only lost 1-0 to Spain. Very respectable form.
Scottish fans will vividly remember the only other time the sides meet in competitive qualifiers. That was back in the Euro 2008 qualifiers when Scotland went agonisingly close to qualifying. Both games were troublesome for the Scots, a last minute winner at Hampden was followed by a 2-0 defeat in Tbilisi seven months later. If the Tartan Army think this will be a walk in the park, they should be in for a surprise.
With Georgia scoring just three total goals in their World Cup 2014 qualifying programme, and Scotland failing to score more than two in a competitive fixture for seven years, the 4/6 with Paddy Power on Under 2.5 Goals looks a rock-solid bet. Can we find a bigger price? Yeah, the 2/1 on Under 1.5 Goals with Bet365 looks worth a look. We’ll also throw in a small punt at 5/1 with BetVictor for a 1-0 Scotland win.