IT’S a crunch match for Scotland as they travel to Georgia with three points a must. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) gives us his view.
Georgia v Scotland | Friday 17:00 | Sky Sports 1
Eight years after their last visit, Scotland return to Georgia on Friday hungry for three points in their quest for Euro 2016 qualification. Just don’t remind them about events in 2007.
Trading at odds on for Euro 2008 qualification with just two matches left and fresh from very impressive wins against France and Ukraine, the Scots lost 2-0 in Tbilisi. That defeat meant they had to beat Italy at home to qualify and well you know the rest.
Is this is a better Scotland team than in 2007? I’m not sure you can say that no. Is this a better Georgia side than in 2007? Definitely not no. And that’s the key for me as I bid to solve this match.
In that 2008 section Georgia picked up wins against the Faroes (twice) and of course Scotland. Defeats were narrow (1-0 in France, 2-1 in Scotland, 3-2 in Ukraine) and they scored goals (16 overall including a 6-0 razing of the Faroes away).
The 2014/2015 Georgia vintage isn’t quite as foxy. Two 4-0 defeats to Poland hardly breed faith and they seem to have regressed since an edgy 2-1 home defeat to Ireland in that opening matchday one year ago.
But still, Scotland only beat them 1-0 at Ibrox last October despite dominating the game and the Germans went just one goal better in their meeting.
I don’t think this side are capable of beating Scotland like in 2007 but I am expecting a gritty, nervy, ugly, vile battle for the Scots to penetrate their goal. That onerous task will be achieved I feel.
The Scots have scored in their last 12 matches and have notched in every qualifier in this group. Like a pregnant woman in labour I can seem them pushing and squeezing and shrieking until a goal pops out. It won’t be a bloodied baby we see though, it will be increased hope, abstract hope, hope of Scotland reaching their first major tournament for 16 years. Scotland to win by exactly one goal for me guys.
Georgia v Scotland – Scotland to win by exactly one goal (5/2 Skybet)
Betfair are offering new customers a massive 2/1 on England beating San Marino on Saturday.
It’s likely they’ll take the offer down well before the game due to high demand so get involved while you can.