PROUD Scot Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) takes a look at his nations clash with Lithuania on Saturday.
Scotland v Lithuania | Saturday 19:45 | Sky Sports 5
Scotland come into Game 2 of a campaign with a 100% record for the first time in 10 years on Saturday when they host Lithuania. Heady days eh?
Their 5-1 win over Malta last month looks a lot better on paper than it did on then pitch and I for one am not getting carried away by Gordon Strachan’s men.
Lithuania have been a stodgy opponent for Scotland since they emerged from the embers of the Soviet Union. Indeed their first ever meeting with the Balkan nation ended in an unsatisfactory draw in 1998.
The woe continued from there and they suffered defeat in Lithuania in 2003 and the Euro 2012 campaign under Craig Levein got off to an unspectacular start with a draw in that territory.
So what about now in 2016? Well, Lithuania nearly got off to a flyer last month when they went 2-0 up at home to 4th seeds Slovenia. Sadly for them they were pegged back to 2-2 but if Scotland can score two at home against Slovenia it won’t be a disaster.
I’m still yet to be convinced that this Scotland side can do consistent damage in this group. God, I’d love to be proven wrong but the fact is we were up against against Malta before the second Scotland goal went in.
The sending off and penalty that followed was cruel on the Maltese and it was understandable that their heads dropped. Let’s not flatter ourselves with that 5-1 scoreline.
In the six matches this century between the sides Scotland have won by more than one goal just once. That came amidst the heady, halcyon Euro 2008 campaign when Scotland almost qualified. I don’t think this side is as good as that exciting squad but having said that the 9/1 on a 2-1 Scotland win looks fair value.
My main bet though is at 7/6 with 188BET and it’s Lithuania +1 on the Asian Handicap. A one goal loss for them will see my stake returned and my dreams fired with thoughts of Scotland reaching Russia.