Friday night’s feeble defeat to Wales at Hampden Park, which saw them lose Sunderland’s Steven Fletcher and Norwich’s Robert Snodgrass, leaves Scotland rooted to the bottom of World Cup Qualifying Group A and on the verge of their worst qualifying campaign of all time.
Even Scotland legend Gordon Strachan couldn’t reverse the decline in his first competitive game in charge as Snodgrass’ red card turned the game on its head and condemned the Scots to their third defeat in five games, leaving them winless and looking good bets to finish the campaign in bottom spot.
On Tuesday they travel to Serbia to face a team whose own campaign has been almost as disappointing as the Scots. Just one win so far, albeit an impressive 6-1 triumph over Wales, has left them miles off the pace in Group A and out of the qualification chase following Friday’s 2-0 defeat in Croatia.
That win over Chris Coleman’s side was the only match in the entire campaign so far in which Serbia have found the net, having fired a blank in all four of their other ties so far. Scotland have not scored more than one goal in a game so far and, as if to sum up both sides’ efforts so far, they drew 0-0 when they met at Hampden last September in a match that pleased neither side and set the tone for the games to come.
A low scoring encounter could therefore be on the cards, and another 0-0 draw is on offer at a tempting 25/4, while fewer than 1.5 goals is available at 19/10.
Serbia are 18/5 to fire another blank, which looks like a decent option based on their record so far, and the Scots are 87/100 to be shut out and 7/50 to score one or fewer.
For all their problems, Serbia’s demolition of Wales does prove that they have the ability to inflict damage when they click, and this helps to explain why they are 11/20 to win the game, compared to 5/1 on a Scotland victory and 29/10 on a draw.
The stand out bet in this one, however, looks like being Serbia to win with fewer than 2.5 combined goals scored in the match, on offer at 33/20.
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