Scotland

Scotland vs Cyprus

, KO: 19:45 Jun 8, 2019, Hampden Park
Cyprus

SATURDAY night heralds the start of the Steve Clarke era when Scotland entertain Cyprus at Hampden Park.

After his wonderful work at Kilmarnock Clarke was the obvious option to replace Alex McLeish who was eventually axed following a calamitous 3-0 defeat in Kazakhstan – one of the worst in the national team's history.

Clarke is now tasked with reviving Scotland's Euro 2020 qualifying campaign and the bookies believe he can get off to a dream start against Cyprus with a home win on offer at 4/9 (Ladbrokes)

After seeing off minnows San Marino in their opening fixture the Cypriots sit on three points in Group I and they are 13/2 (BetVictor) to win their first away game of the campaign.

Ran Ben's men would more than likely settle for a draw at 3/1 (William Hill) but that result would ruin the beginning of Steve Clarke's reign and all but end Scotland's already slender chances of a top-two finish.

The new Scotland boss has named five uncapped players in his first squad in the shape of Liam Kelly, Michael Devlin as well as Killie trio Stuart Findlay, Greg Taylor and Eamonn Brophy.

The rest of the squad is made up of players who have regularly featured in recent international fixtures and just one week on from lifting the Champions League trophy Andy Robertson will skipper the Scots at the Stadium where his incredible rise to the top started with Queens Park.

The Liverpool left-back is a certain starter against Cyprus and it would be very surprising not to see Bournemouth's Ryan Fraser start alongside Robertson.

Fraser has enjoyed a stunning season in England's top flight having been involved in 21 of the Cherries Premier League goals –  he set up 14 and scored seven.

Such form seen Fraser named the Bournemouth Supporters' Player of the Year and the former Aberdeen youngster has since been linked with a Summer switch to Arsenal and Liverpool.

Following a thrilling campaign on the south coast Fraser looks attractively priced at 7/2 (Betfred) to score anytime against travel sick Cyprus.

Such generous odds on Fraser scoring can perhaps be attributed to the manner of Scotland's laboured display against San Marino as well as the fact that only once since March 2015 have the Scots scored more than two goals at Hampden.

Furthermore, Cyprus will be rigid and hard working and demonstrated those qualities in restricting star-studded Belgium to two goals in their last Euro 2020 qualifier.

In addition to that, Clarke does not appear to have an out and out goalscorer or talisman to turn towards so a nervous first night in the national job is not unforeseeable.

A goal fest is unlikely in Glasgow and it wouldn't surprise me if a Scotland goal is scored from a set piece so I therefore I like the look of the 2/1 (William Hill) on offer for a Header to be Scored.

An early Scotland goal of any sorts would settle the nerves for both Clarke and the Scottish crowd but in the absence of that this could well be a night where the Tartan Army will have to be patient.

However, a galvanised Hampden support should see Clarke hit the ground running, but given the short value on offer for a home win, an alternative angle to consider is Scotland To Win To Nil at 23/20 (BoyleSports)

This match between Scotland and Cyprus will be played on Jun 8, 2019 and kick off at 19:45

Scotland vs Cyprus Betting Tips & Predictions
Scotland To Win To Nil
23/20
Boylesports
A Header To Be Scored
2/1
William Hill
Ryan Fraser to Score Anytime
7/2
Betfred

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