Euro 2016 qualifiers: Scotland seek gallant Georgia triumph
Scotland are involved in an extremely tight qualifying Group D alongside leaders Poland, World Cup winners Germany and close rivals Republic of Ireland, but must win for the first time ever in Georgia to keep Euro 2016 hopes alive.
Gordon Strachan’s Scots have kept themselves well-positioned for a place in France next summer, with an impressive victory on home soil over Ireland and a draw with Poland seeing them sit only two points adrift of second-placed Germany.
Although, Scotland lost their only ever visit to Georgia in 2007, but will look to emulate their previous 2-0 home triumph over their latest opponents and are 17/10 with Coral to emerge with three points and a clean sheet.
Georgia are 10/3 to shock Strachan’s Scots on home turf and potentially deliver a fatal blow to their opponent’s hopes of qualifying, with close rivals Ireland contesting whipping boys Gibraltar and top two nations Germany and Poland doing battle.
Despite sitting in third, though still holding a realistic chance of qualifying for France, Strachan has his eye on sensationally going all the way and finishing top of Group D.
“Those games are getting more important because we’re in there and we want to win the whole thing and get as many points as possible,” stated the determined Scotland boss.
“For that reason we don’t say we’re trying to pick up a point here and a point there. We just go out there and try to win games.
“The plan is to get through but I do believe that anybody in the top three just now – and I still think Ireland can qualify – can win it.
“Before we started I thought Germany would win it. They’re the world champions and they qualify for every tournament they play for – I think it was the 1960s, the last time they didn’t.”
Recent Hull City signing Shaun Maloney, who switched from MLS franchise Chicago Fire, believes his move back to England will help his international career blossom and the Malaysian-born winger is 10/3 to add to his four qualifying strikes anytime.
Genk attacker Tornike Okriashvili will be a threat to the Scots, though, and the Georgia forward is 5/1 to net anytime, as he currently leads his nation’s scoring in qualifying.
A slip-up for Scotland could spell disaster in their hunt for qualification, with Martin O’Neill’s Boys in Green closely following them in fourth-place, though the visitors possess enough firepower to get the job done.
Betting tip: Shaun Maloney to score anytime @ 10/3