Kazakhstan v Scotland: Tartan Army to get off to flyer

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DAILY RECORD star Mr Fixit (@mrfixittps) talks us through the best betting options for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifying opener between Kazakhstan and Scotland.

Kazakhstan v Scotland | Tuesday 21st March 2019, 15:00 | Sky Sports

Kazakhstan away is the type of game Scotland should be winning every day of the week. In world football terms, we're facing minnows who've won three out of 40 games – all against nobodies.

A lot's been said about the time difference, long travel, cold weather and call-offs but Alex McLeish can't have any excuses for not starting the Euro 2020 qualifiers with two wins (next up it's San Marino on Sunday).

The main problem is Scotland don't do easy – just ask rugby coach Gregor Townsend – and over the years we've found every way possible to flop. However, the Kazakhs are ranked a lowly 120th in the world – one place above Guinea-Bassua and who knew they were a country never mind one under FIFA's umbrella.

While Scotland won promotion from their Nations League group with three wins from four the Kazahks could only beat Andorra once in a section also containing Georgia and Latvia.

I always worry about backing Scotland but Marathon’s odds-against offering of 103/100 is a steal and I like us -1 at 3/1 with Ladbrokes.

Reshuffled side

Sure, we've lost keeper Allan McGregor, skipper Andy Robertson and striker Steven Fletcher – not to mention Ryan Fraser – but we should be confident after that 4-0 away hammering of Albania who are much better than the Kazakhs.

The latest injury blow though is a concern because with Kieran Tierney out we have lost both first-choice left-backs. This will mean a defensive reshuffle by McLeish or bringing in Aberdeen skipper Graeme Shinnie at left-back and the latter wouldn't worry me as he's had a superb season.

Picking a scorer remains tough though and best bet could be James Forrest who was our Nations League hero with five goals against Albania and Israel. Forrest is 9/1 at Betway to score first and 7/2 at BetVictor to net.

Scott Bain is 6/5 to keep a clean sheet although our hosts have scored in their last six.

Best Bets

Kazakhstan v Scotland – Scotland to win (103/100 Marathon)

Kazakhstan v Scotland – James Forrest to score at anytime (7/2 BetVictor)

Kazakhstan v Scotland – Scotland -1 handicap (3/1 Ladbrokes)

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Mr Fixit is the resident football tipster at the Daily Record, Scotland's best read newspaper. He's also the proud host of one the best betting communities on the web, MrFixitsTips.co.uk.

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