Cyprus vs Scotland predictions: Tartan Army can grind out another victory
Scotland have made a perfect start in their pursuit of a place at next summer’s European Championship, winning their opening four internationals, and the Tartan Army can keep the trend going with victory in Cyprus.
Steve Clarke’s side have improved in terms of quality no end over the last few years, with a number of their star men operating in the Premier League, and that has been evident in their strong start to Group A.
Scotland kickstarted their qualifying campaign with a routine 3-0 victory over the Cypriots before winning at home to Spain and triumphing away in Norway.
A 2-0 win at home Georgia was Scotland’s last qualifying result in June and Clarke will be demanding his team to maintain their 100 per cent record in Larnaca.
The Cypriots, meanwhile, are propping up Group A after losing their first three games and are unlikely to have too much of a say on the outcome of qualification.
Pieros Sotiriou, Cyprus’ best-known player who plies his trade for Japanese outfit Sanfrecce Hiroshima, is set to lead the line.
Cyprus manager Temur Ketsbaia has reported no fresh injuries.
For Scotland, injured trio Nathan Patterson, Liam Kelly and Elliot Anderson were forced to withdraw from the squad, but they have been given a boost by the returns of Che Adams and Scott McKenna.
Scotland are unbeaten in nine European Championship qualifiers and they have won all four of their matches in Group A.
Clarke’s side have kept three clean sheets during those qualifying matches and each of their last eight internationals have featured three goals or fewer.
The Tartan Army have won all eight international meetings with Cyprus, which includes a 3-0 victory against the Cyrpiots at a packed-out Hampden Park in March.
The meeting prior to that came in 2019 in Cyprus when goals from captain Andy Robertson and a late winner from Oli Burke gave Clarke a winning start to his reign as Scotland head coach.
Cyprus, meanwhile, have lost their last six European Championship qualifiers which includes all three contests in Group A.
Cyprus have scored in their last two defeats to Georgia and Norway, but their last six home games have all featured no more than three goals.
Scotland appear to be stronger than Cyprus in every department and the start they have made to Group A means their motivation level will be extremely high.
With fixtures away at Spain and Georgia and at home to Norway to come, it is important for the Scots to overcome the section’s minnows if they are to reach next summer’s European Championships.
And the manner of their 3-0 win at home to the Cypriots, a game in which Scott McTominay was on target with a brace, suggests they should get the job done.
That said, McTominay’s two goals came in the final ten minutes and they may have to be more patient away from home.
Temperatures are expected to be soaring and Scotland, spearheaded by the likes of Lyndon Dykes and Adams, are not a team littered with firepower.
But they are extremely well-organised and resilient and they can grind out victory.
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