Euro 2016 qualifiers: Lewandowski purple patch to take Poles past Scots
Scotland last lost to Poland in 1980, but 35 years later they have to try and contain the in-form Robert Lewandowski, who is Euro 2016 qualifying’s leading marksman and has a dozen goals in his last four outings for club team Bayern Munich.
Those terrifying scoring stats suggest, if translated over onto international duty, that we’re looking at a hat-trick (25/1), or at least a safer 7/1 on two goals or more with Coral at Hampden Park. Lewandowski also features in a superb 7/2 enhanced matchday wincast.
Suspension for midfielder James Morrison, plus injuries to defender Charlie Muglgrew and wide player Ikechi Anya, weakens Gordon Strachan’s side despite home advantage, and that is why they are only 19/10 for a victory that will keep qualifying Group D alive, if World Cup holders Germany beat the Republic of Ireland as expected.
Poland start as narrow 13/8 favourites because of the lethal form of Lewandowski, who is 5/4 in the anytime market and better at 5/1 to break the deadlock. A draw has been the result in three of the last four head-to-heads, however, and is an 11/5 chance to occur again.
While Scotland showed real spirit in the reverse fixture, which ended 2-2, this is the last chance saloon for Strachan’s side to keep themselves in with hopes of a play-off place. The Tartan Team must try to win and hope their Celtic rivals Ireland slip up because they trail them by four points with only a maximum of six on offer.
Hull City attacking midfielder and winger Shaun Maloney has led the Scottish bid to reach a first major tournament since 1998 with four goals in eight group games, and is 7/2 to strike against the Poles again.
Sunderland misfit Steven Fletcher has three goals for Strachan, but versatile Everton forward Steven Naismith is the one who often rises to the big occasion after his hat-trick against Chelsea last month. Punters can take a terrific 2/1 on nifty Naismith to net anytime.
If you think Poland will just be the Lewandowski show, then beware his strike partner Arkadiusz Milik, who admittedly has failed to be as prolific since signing permanently for Ajax. He did grab a goal against Scotland in Warsaw, however, and is 7/4 anytime or 6/1 to repeat scoring last.
That proficient pair up top for the Poles belie any shortcomings they may have in defence and, despite the Hampden roar, a wise investment would be backing an away win with both teams scoring at a fabulous 5/1.
Coral’s top tip: What a superb price 7/1 is for Lewandowski to get two or more here.