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Cyprus vs Scotland: Injuries may lead to Nicosia stalemate

Kick-off: 1400, 16/11/2019

Stadium: GSP Stadium

TV: Sky Sports

Scotland salvaged some pride from a poor Euro 2020 qualifying campaign when thrashing San Marino 6-0 but may have to settle for a draw when visiting Cyprus.

Steve Clarke began his reign as manager with a last-gasp 2-1 victory over Cyprus at Hampden in June, but has been hit by injury problems ahead of the reverse fixture.

That makes 9/4 for a stalemate in Nicosia worth support as our opening Cyprus vs Scotland prediction.

A Look At Cyprus’ Betting Odds

Like Scotland, Cyprus have readily accounted for San Marino twice in this pool but had their limitations exposed by Belgium and Russia.

A 5-0 drubbing by the last-named team at this venue in their most recent match was disappointing, although there were some excuses.

Following a slow start, Cyprus had Kostas Laifis sent off with less than half an hour gone, when already trailing 2-0.

However, they did hold firm for a long time after that, before conceding three more times late on.

Two solid efforts versus Kazakhstan warrant respect, with September’s 1-1 draw here followed by a 2-1 away win at Astana Arena a month ago.

Looking at the Cyprus vs Scotland odds, we like 18/5 for a score draw.

A Look At Scotland’s Betting Odds

Oliver Burke’s last-minute winner helped Scotland to shade Cyprus on home turf back in the summer, at which point they had two wins from three games in this pool.

However, four straight defeats followed against the big two in the group, with 13 goals conceded in those games and only one scored.

Last month’s 6-0 stuffing of San Marino at least lifted spirits, but Clarke will now take a weakened team to Nicosia.

Liverpool full-back Andy Robertson, Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay, Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser and Leeds defender Liam Cooper are all injured.

Kieran Tierney was already absent at Arsenal’s request, prompting call-ups for Lewis Morgan and Graeme Shinnie.

Scotland may now use this match and Tuesday’s final Group I game at home to Kazakhstan as preparation for the Nations League play-off in March, which offers another route to next summer’s finals.

We are hoping to see more of Dundee United striker Lawrence Shankland, though, who has netted 17 times in 13 Championship fixtures this term and scored his first international goal versus San Marino.

Let’s add 16/5 for the 24-year-old to break the deadlock here to our Cyprus vs Scotland betting tips.

Additional stats

Last result:

CYPRUS 0-5 Russia

SCOTLAND 6-0 San Marino – John McGinn (3), Lawrence Shankland, Stuart Findlay, Stuart Armstrong

Head-to-head: Scotland 2-1 Cyprus, Cyprus 1-2 Scotland

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