Scotland vs Cyprus prediction: Hosts to have the edge
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Scotland vs Cyprus prediction: Hosts to have the edge

Kick-off: 1400, 25/03/2023

Stadium: Hampden Park

TV: Viaplay Sports

Scotland will be going all out to kick off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a convincing victory when entertaining Cyprus.

The Scots follow up this game by hosting Group A favourites Spain, before then facing Norway and Georgia in a June double-header.

We like 11/4 for a home win by exactly two goals for our first Scotland vs Cyprus prediction.

Scots are on upward curve

Scotland had a taste of major tournament football when qualifying for Euro 2020 and only just missed out on the World Cup via the play-offs.

Steve Clarke’s side maintained their momentum when winning last year’s Nations League pool ahead of Ukraine, Republic of Ireland and Armenia.

They will compete at elite level in the next edition of that tournament and are clearly on an upward curve under the current regime.

Injuries and international retirements always play a part when a new qualifying campaign begins, but 40-year-old keeper Craig Gordon is Clarke’s only major absentee.

Norwich’s former England under-21 international Angus Gunn will battle with Hearts shot-stopper Zander Clark and Motherwell’s Liam Kelly to fill that void.

Liverpool full-back Andrew Robertson again captains a settled squad, although some players like Billy Gilmour, Ryan Christie and Kieran Tierney have struggled for game time at club level.

Lyndon Dykes made the squad three days after his comeback from an illness that saw him spend time in hospital, but Southampton forward Che Adams is well equipped to lead the front line.

Clarke commented: “It’s just about getting the balance right and making sure that the boys that are here are fit and ready to go.”

A steady start will suffice, so 21/10 for the hosts to be 1-0 ahead at half-time appeals from the Scotland vs Cyprus odds.

Visitors lack cutting edge up front

Cyprus performed with credit when in the same qualifying group as Scotland for Euro 2020.

They finished fourth behind Belgium and Russia in Group I with 10 points, five adrift of the Scots in third.

Clarke’s men prevailed 2-1 in both head-to-head encounters, needing an 89th-minute decider from Oliver Burke at Hampden.

However, Cyprus did finish bottom of their Nations League C-grade pool last summer, trailing Greece, Kosovo and Northern Ireland.

Scoring goals was their big problem, with only four netted in six matches, although they did shade Greece 1-0 at home and drew twice with the Irish.

Being without striker Pieros Sotiriou won’t help them here and veteran wingers Demetris Christofi and Georgios Efrem only have 13 goals between them from a combined tally of 115 caps.

Let’s finish off our Scotland vs Cyprus betting tips by taking 9/2 for a straightforward 2-0 home win.

Additional stats

Last result:

Turkey 2-1 SCOTLAND – John McGinn

Israel 2-3 CYPRUS – Charalampos Charalampous, Ioannis Pittas, Michaelis Ioannou

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

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