STEVE CLARKE says Scotland can’t get any worse and it’s difficult not to agree.
Our second-half display in Russia was as bad as it gets as we folded like a wet tent after the opener.
We never looked like scoring (again) and Russia threatened to add to their tally with every attack.
It was painful viewing even if I was consoled by the fact my three tips on the game landed – Artem Dzyuba to score first and two handicap bets on Russia.
Clarke at least will get some respite on Sunday when San Marino visit Hampden. The minnows lost 9-0 in Belgium on Thursday as well concediing nine in Russia.
In seven games the world’s worst team have scored none and let in 37 but I’m not confident we’ll give them a doing.
It won’t be nine but it could be four – that was how many they gave away in Kazakhstan and at Cyprus and Belgium. A 4-0 win pays 5-1 at Unibet while 5-0 is the same price.
Clarke’s still short up top but Lawrence Shankland looks a certain starter after coming on at half-time in Moscow. To be fair all he had to be was better than Oli Burke!
The Dundee United hitman is 15-8 at McBookie to score first and a ridiculous 1-7 to net at any time.
If he nets one or two he could be the answer to our problems at least until Leigh Griffiths proves he’s ready for a a return.
Alternative first scorers are Ryan Christie at 7-2 and John McGinn at 13-2, both with McBookie.
Although they conceded nine to Belgium they held out for 33 minutes and after letting in six in 12 minutes they kept it clean until 78 minutes.
Can you imagine how frustrated the crowd will get if it takes us 30-40 minutes to break through?
Elsewhere in Group I a double on Russia -1 at Cyprus and Belgium -1 at Kazakhstan pays just under 3-1 at bet365.
In Group C the top two, Holland and Germany, are on the road at Belarus and Estonia as they aim to put daylight between themselves and Northern Ireland.
The Dutch gave themselves a massive boost with two injury-time goals to beat the Irish and should win again but are no bigger than 1-4 at Unibet. It was 4-0 when the sides met in Holland so every chance the visitors will cover the -1 handicap at 3-4 with Coral. Memphis Depay is most likely first scorer at 3-1 with bet365.
Germany thrashed Estonia 8-0 at home and will be looking to run up another big score in Talinn. Germany -3 is 4-5 at sportingbet. Bayern Munich star Serge Gnabry has netted five in the qualifiers and is 10-3 at bet365 to break the deadlock.
Wales' hopes of going through from Group E are almost over after being held in Slovakia in midweek. They will be over if they don't beat leaders Croatia and it's difficult to see.
With Gareth Bale not the Gareth Bale of old the Welsh have struggled for goals with just five goals in five games compared to 13 by the Croats.
There's a difference in class here and while I can see the Croats winning the best bet could be Croatia +1 at 4-11.
In Group G leaders Poland can take a giant step to qualification by seeing off third-placed North Macedonia at home. The Poles are 11-2 at Ladbrokes and I can't ignore the claims of Robert Lewandowski to score first at 5-2 with Marathonbet having hit a hat-trick against Latvia last week.
- Shankland to score first
- San Marino +5
- San Marino +6
- Russia -1/Belgium -1 double
- Depay to score first
- Germany -3
- Gnabry to score first
- Lewandowski to score first