When Oliver Burke made his £13m move to newly-promoted Bundesliga side RB Leipzig a week ago, many people wondered who the Nottingham Forest winger was.
Burke only broke into the Tricky Trees’ first team last December, and even then started just eight games in all competitions over the whole campaign, scoring twice, although he did rack up four goals and an assist in five Championship matches this term before upping sticks.
Leipzig haven’t had a fixture in the four days since Burke signed, so the boy previously tracked by the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Bayern Munich will be of great interest if he gets on for Scotland against Malta.
International teammate Matt Ritchie is hardly doing the 19-year-old any favours by comparing Burke to Gareth Bale, but chucking in the Championship’s current joint-top scorer, particularly one of such promise, against the 176th-ranked side in the world seems like a no brainer.
It’s unlikely, with Scotland boss Gordon Strachan only affording the youngster 28 minutes of international football so far in a couple of friendlies, although he got on twice as early for his second cap in Italy at the start of the summer than his first at home to Denmark last March.
With that in mind, Burke looks primed for the last half an hour or so on the Ta’Qali National Stadium pitch, so backing him at 8/1 to bag the final goal makes plenty of sense.
Scotland have won all four of their previous clashes with Malta, each of which came between 1990 and 1997, but only once by more than one goal.
Malta limited Croatia and Italy to mere 1-0 wins in Euro 2016 qualifying, so they’ll be no pushovers, but Scotland are deserved 2/5 favourites having clearly progressed under Strachan, just missing out on a Euro 2016 qualifying play-off place last autumn from a teak-tough group.
The visitors should be confident of clearing a one-goal handicap in Attard at 11/10 with bwin.