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Big Match Breakdown: Scotland v Albania

Dave Burin | 10 September 2018

Odds and in-depth look at Nations League tussle

Scotland are bidding to bounce back from a humbling 4-0 friendly defeat to Belgium, as they host Albania in a UEFA Nations League clash.

Christian Panucci’s side have already made their Nations League bow, with a narrow home win over Israel.

Ahead of tonight’s showdown at Hampden Park – which kicks off at 7:45pm, live on Sky Sports Main Event – the Coral News Team are back with a Big Match Breakdown…

Head-to-Head

These sides are actually facing off for the first time in history tonight. But if Albania’s prior trips to these shores are anything to go by, they could be in for a long evening.

The Balkans outfit have lost all seven away games against the other three Home Nations, conceding 19 goals and scoring just once.

Likely XIs

Despite Friday night’s defeat to Belgium, Scotland boss Alex McLeish is unlikely to abandon his preferred 3-5-2 system.

John Souttar had a torrid time against the Red Devils, so the more experienced Graeme Shinnie could take his place in a defensive three. Further forward, Andrew Robertson and James Forrest could hurt Albania on the flanks.

The visitors have a strong defensive core, with Berat Djimisti and former Manchester United youngster Frederic Veseli at centre-back. They tend to play a 4-3-3, with the powerful Bekim Balaj up top.

Key Battles

There could be an intriguing tussle between Scotland’s classy but slightly lightweight back three, and Akhmat Grozny striker Balaj.

The home defence will certainly have to handle his physical presence better than they did with Romelu Lukaku last weekend.

As for the visitors, they could be overrun by Scotland’s midfield five, with the eagle-eyed John McGinn able to split the defence with his passing.

Match Odds

In the Match Betting, Scotland are 4/5 favourites. Meanwhile, Coral’s odds make it 23/10 for the Draw and 4/1 for an Albanian win.

The visitors are arguably the stronger on paper, having reached Euro 2016. But Scotland have home advantage. It could be tight, and a 1-1 scoreline is priced at 5/1.

In the Goalscorer odds, Griffiths is 7/4 to Score Once. And the Celtic hitman is 13/2 to grab a brace.

Meanwhile, the visitors’ best chance of a goal lies in Balaj at 16/5.

Click here for Coral’s latest Scotland v Albania odds.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing