SCOTLAND got off to a World Cup flier in Valletta and should stay on the Road to Russia tonight.

Lithuania at home is a must-win match for any side wanting to mix it with the Muscovites and while it won't be pretty we should get the job done.

It was a Maltese pleaser for Gordon Strachan's side as we won 5-1 with a little help from the ref who wrongly handed us a penalty.

Scotland have a 100 per cent home record against Baltic nations and we've beaten Lithuania three times at Hampden. We are massive favourites to maintain that record at 1-2 with Betfred.

A damaging draw pays 10-3 at Paddy Power and a Lithuania success is 8-1 at Winner. Any Scots fans who backs that will have a Winner and loser at the same time!

I'm sure Strachan would settle for a 1-0 victory and that pays 9-2 at William Hill. However, he has seen his side concede to the likes of Gibraltar, Malta and Georgia so not many will back the Scots to win to nil at 11-10 with Paddy Power

We might need two to get the job done so consider a Scotland win and over 2.5 goals at 13-8 with Paddy Power.

And what about scorers? Robert Snodgrass bagged a hat-trick in Malta and the penalty taker is 5-2 at 888sport to score again and 6-1 at BetVictor to score first.

He must have a chance as does Matt Ritchie who played well in Malta. With Lithuania packing their defence it may take a Ritchie rocker to break them down.

The Newcastle midfielder is 15-2 at McBookie to score first and I'm on him at 11-4 with Betfred to net at any time.

Leigh Griffiths would have started in Malta if he'd been fit and in his absence Chris Martin played up top at the expense of Steven Fletcher.

Martin netted once and may get the nod again with Griffiths used off the bench. The Fulham striker is 9-2 at BetVictor to score first with Griffiths 4-1.

Group F favourites England will make it two games, two managers and two wins tonight when Gareth Southgate makes his dugout debut.

Sam Allardyce got lucky with a last-gasp win in Slovakia and left the job with a 100 per cent record.

Southgate's been handed the reins for four matches, including the first Scotland game, and will be out to make an impression.

He's got to little to gain with a gimme game against the limited Maltese. It's simply a question of how many – and I reckon it will be 5-0, 6-0 or 7-0. They pay 7-1, 9-1 and 14-1 respectively so you do all three if you're confident one will land.

If you don't fancy a correct score then look at the handicaps with the line set at minus four. That pays 11-8 at 888sport and seems fair enough.

England minus three at 8-13 with McBookie could go on accumulators and as could England to win both halves at 1-3 with Coral.

Picking a first scorer should be left until Southgate names his team which will be minus Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling. Arsenal's Theo Walcott is in form and is 5-1 at McBookie but if he starts I'll be on Marcus Rashford at 10-3 with McBookie.

Elsewhere today take Germany minus one at 4-6 with Coral at home to Czech Rep and consider Northern Ireland skipper Steve Davis to score against San Marino. He is 7-5 at Coral with the strikers too short.

Bets to Consider


Ritchie to score

England -4

England to win 5-0, 6-0 or 7-0

Davis to score

Germany -1


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