PUNTERS and bookies have time to digest the draw for the World Cup 2018 that was made on Saturday.

After the initial fury among the Tartan Army at being paired with England comes the realisation Scotland have been handed a tough task to qualify for Russia.

As well as the English Gordon Strachan's men are up against world-ranked 15 Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta in Group F. In reality it's a race for second place between Slovakia and the Scots but no one north of the border would have swapped the chance to defeat the Auld Enemy for anything.

England are 1-10 with Coral to qualify and 2-1 to go through Group F unbeaten and are 16-1 to win all of their games.

Scotland are 3-1 to make it through to Russia with 1-5 being offered on them failing to qualify.

Elsewhere, Wales who are the top seeds in Group D, are 6-4 to qualify for the tournament with rivals Republic of Ireland 5-2. Northern Ireland are in a tough section with Germany and the Czech Republic and can be backed at 8-1.

Coral spokesman John Hill: “The betting suggests it should be a straightforward task for England in qualifying for the World Cup in Russia in 2018. They are odds-on at 2-5 to win Group F and even shorter in the qualification betting.

“Of the other home nations the odds say Wales have the best chance of making it to Russia while Scotland and Northern Ireland are outsiders to make it to the 2018 tournament.”

Outright betting – 5-1 Germany, 15-2 Spain, 8-1 Argentina, 10-1 Brazil, France, 14-1 Holland, 16-1 Belgium, Italy, 18-1 Russia, 20-1 England, 25-1 Colombia, Portugal, 33-1 Croatia, 50-1 Bar.

England face Scotland at Wembley in November next year with the return in June in 2017. No one in their right mind will have a bet now but Coral go 2-5 England, 3-1 Draw, 7-1 Scotland at Wembley and 11-4 Scotland, 9-4 Draw and 1-1 England in Glasgow.


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