Scotland take on Czech Republic in a 2pm kick-off at Hampden Park this afternoon.
England beating Croatia yesterday is likely to suit both of these nations, who will sense a real opportunity to improve their chances of grabbing second spot behind the Three Lions with a positive result here.
Scotland are 13/8 favourites to win the match having received plenty of backing in recent days, with the draw and a Czech victory both priced at 2/1.
Given that these prices were roughly switched around at recently, I’m not surprised the Scots have been a popular bet for Tartan Army fans and neutrals alike in recent days.
After all, Steve Clarke’s side beat the Czechs in both meetings in the Nations League last year, although it should be stressed that the 2-1 away win essentially came against a Czech ‘C’ team due to a COVID-19 outbreak in their squad.
I do fancy Scotland to at the very least score against Jaroslav Silhavy’s side, though, having failed to score in only three of their last 13 matches.
This run has included scoring twice against Netherlands and Austria recently, two nations I consider to be a fair bit stronger than Czech Rep to be honest.
Indeed, the Czech’s have conceded in 11 of their last 13 matches, including to the likes of Cyprus and Estonia.
Given the stakes I also fancy both teams to pick up a card. Both Scotland and Czech Rep picked up 16 yellows in qualifying, while referee Daniel Hulbert averaged 4.71 cards per game in European matches last season:
A double I like the look of is John McGinn and Tomas Soucek both to be carded at 18/1 (bet365), with adding both teams to score making a very tasty 40/1 treble.
McGinn was booked 12 times in 37 matches for Aston Villa last season, including in each of his last five matches, while Soucek received seven cards in 38 games for West Ham.
The pair are the driving force in both team’s midfields and won’t be shy of getting stuck in, with Soucek looking great value in particular at 9/2 given that he has picked up three cards in recent qualifiers for his country.
Likewise, I like both players to have a shot on target at evens (Betfair). McGinn has a great goalscoring record for his country with 10 goals in 32 games, while Soucek has seven in 35 and is coming off the back of a remarkable goalscoring season for the Hammers.
This makes a nice 4/1 double for a bit of interest, while combining this with both players to be booked is 80/1.
Soucek also looks a big price to score a header at 14/1 (Sky Bet).
Scotland to score & both teams to receive a card @ 11/10 (bet365)
John McGinn & Tomas Soucek to be carded @ 18/1 (bet365)
John McGinn & Tomas Soucek both to have a shot on target @ 4/1 (Betfair)
John McGinn & Tomas Soucek to be carded & have a shot on target @ 80/1 (Betfair)