STEVE CLARKE has been tasked with restoring Scotland's pride and ending the nation's finals drought.

The first part should be easy but many before him have failed the second test.

It's now 21 years since Craig Brown led Scotland to France 1998 and in the words of Roger Daltrey I was “Just a Boy”.

So many kids growing up won't have witnessed Scotland on the big stage and it has to change soon.

Hopefully Clarke's the man to lift our spirits and while his best hope of qualifying will be through the Nations League play-offs he'll want to get off to a flyer at home to Cyprus tonight.

These are the kind of games we must win and I'm backing us at a fairly decent price of 8-15 at Ladbrokes.

The former Killie boss will be hoping for three points and a decent showing ahead of a much tougher test in Belgium on Tuesday so Scotland -1 at 31-20 with Ladbrokes is a bet to look at.

Clarke's called in four of his former players from Rugby Park and it's clear defence will be his focus.

He'll be desperate not to concede and Scotland to win to nil pays 5-4 at Betvictor. Scotland will certainly be organised as Killie were and players will know their job.

Striker Eamonn Brophy is one of those who has been called up and is in line to make his debut. He is 17-4 at Betway to score first as is Hibs' Marc McNulty.

Midfield is where our strength lies with the likes of Aston Villa hero John McGinn, Man United's Scott McTominay and Celtic's James Forrest set for vital roles. Forrest is 13-2 with McBookie to hit the opener.

McGinn isn't a prolific scorer but netted the goal that took Villa up to the Premier League and is 9-2 at Paddy Power to hit the target. I'd wait to see the starting XI before having a bet on this market.

Skipper Andy Robertson was hailed the world's best left-back after helping Liverpool to Champions League glory and we're lucky to have him.

He came close to scoring in Madrid last week and is 17-1 with Paddy Power to net an complete a great end to the season.

Elsewhere in Scotland's group Belgium are no bigger than 1-33 to beat Kazakhstan at home and should do so with plenty to spare.

Eden Hazard was another to player to shine in a Euro final with a double for Chelsea against Arsenal and is 10-3 at Betway to score first and 11-20 just to net.

Russia are even shorter at home to San Marino in the other group game so it's almost impossible to find value.

Recommended Bets

  • Scotland -1
  • Scotland to win to nil
  • Forrest to score

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