Kazakhstan Under 21s vs Scotland Under 21s, KO: 12:00 Mar 29, 2022, Central Stadium, Almaty
SCOTLAND UNDER 21s make the gruelling journey to Almaty to face Kazakhstan with their Euro 2023 campaign in tatters.
Friday night's woeful 2-0 home loss to Turkey all but ended their already slim hopes of making it to what would be their first finals at this level for 27 years.
With three games left – all away from home at Kazakhstan and the top two of Belgium and Denmark, it's a case of trying to avoid bottom place now after one win in five games, which was a narrow 2-1 victory over the Kazakhs.
Kazakhstan have lost all five of their qualifiers, but they will be up for this game because they could move to within a point of the young Scots with their first win. It will be played at their national stadium too.
Although they have failed to pick up a point, their defeats have been respectable with three of the losses being by one goal.
The young Scots face an exhausting nine-hour flight from Edinburgh and will arrive in the middle of the night in Almary – a city six times zones ahead of Scotland.
Morale will be low after being comprehensively outplayed at Tynecastle and no Scottish team has won on Kazakhstan soil on five attempts – three from Celtic, one from Aberdeen and Scotland got humped 3-0 there too.
How the bookies view it
Scotland are strong odds-on favourites with bet365 at 8/13 with the hosts 10/3 and the draw 11/4
Players to watch
FC Taraz striker Abilayhan Zhumabek is joint top scorer for Kazakhstan…with one goal. Given the hosts have only score ttwo goals in qualifying, he is as good a shout as any.
Lewis Fiorini had a real off night on Friday and was taken off, but the Manchester City playmaker is far better than that and drives forward and likes to get into the box. He scored the opener against Kazakhstan in the game in Scotland.
Recent head to heads
Scotland edged a 2-1 win at Tannadice when the sides met in November and highlights can be seen here below.
Anything else catch the eye?
On Friday night's evidence, it's impossible to back Scotland. They are going through a transitional phase, but far too many of their players had serious off nights with only Manchester City keeper Ciaran Slicket getting pass marks.
Kazakhstan has been a graveyard for Scottish teams over the years and there could be value in a home win against Scot Gemmill's side, who have nothing to play for now at 10/3.
Both sides struggle to score too so it's a pleasant surprise it's odds-against for unders. Take the 43/40 with bet365 for under 2.5 goals.
This match between Kazakhstan Under 21s and Scotland Under 21s will be played on Mar 29, 2022 and kick off at 12:00. Check below for our tipsters best Kazakhstan Under 21s vs Scotland Under 21s prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.