WALES, England, Northern Ireland … but sadly no Scotland. Euro 2016 will be an unforgettable event for almost all of the British Isles apart from the most northern part.
I’d been eyeing another trip to France having not been at a finals since World Cup 98 but furthest I’ll get now could be Fraserburgh.
Scotland’s Sunday tie away to Gibraltar is more than meaningless and boss Gordon Strachan is trying to put a positive spin on things.
He’s lost players such as Leigh Griffiths, Jordan Rhodes and James McArthur so fringe men including Graham Dorrans, Johnny Russell and Chris Martin could start along with No.2 keeper Craig Gordon and central defenders Gordon Greer and Christophe Berra. Maybe Berra’s in because he’s half French and that’s the closest we’re going to get.
Steven Fletcher has made the trip and after goals in his last two and a hat-trick against Gibraltar at Hampden he’ll fancy his chances but only back him if he’s a confirmed starter.
Scotland may be out but they’ll want to put on a show for the Tartan Army footsoldiers heading to Faro and there will be an estimated 12,000 in the ground. Unfortuntaly there will be no Far-tale finish but these boys though have a great knack of turning a wake into a party.
The Scots are of course unbackable at 1-25 at William Hill so how many will they win by?
It was 6-1 at Hampden while the minnows have conceded 50 in their nine qualifiers so a four or five-goal win should be the minimum requirement even with a shadow side.
Scotland minus four looks a good shout at 9-5 with Coral but I’m happy to be on minus three 5-6 with McBookie.
Gibraltar netted at Hampden and in Warsaw and are 13-5 with sportingbet to score against a side whose defence at times is leakier than a 5p polybag. Both teams to score is the same price.
Elsewhere in Group D all eyes except ours will be on Poland v Ireland. The Irish need a win or scoring draw higher than 1-1 to qualify automatically.
I think it will be tight but that man Robert L****dowski could be the difference. For obvious reasons I refused to back him on Thursday but that’s 14 goals in five games for club and country – even though his last was the scrappiest and luckiest of his career.
L****dowski is 10-3 at William Hill to net first and 1-1 to score at any time. With the Irish needing to net both teams to score at 1-1 with Ladbrokes is a shout.
Germany let down Scotland with their sloppy Dublin display but it’s payback time. Let’s make some money of the Germans who will clinch top spot with a home gubbing of Georgia.
Joachim Low’s men are no bigger than 1-16 at Ladbrokes so again we turn to the handicaps. It was 2-0 to the world champions in Tbilisi and they should at least match that. Germany minus two pays 8-13 at Paddy Power.
If Sod’s Law is playing its hand Thomas Muller will score first at 18-5 with 888sport after missing a sitter in Dublin that would have kept us alive (just).
L****dowski to score
(1-1, William Hill)
(8-13, Paddy Power)
Muller to score first