Faroe Islands v Scotland: Tartan Army to move closer to playoff place

Faroe Islands v Scotland: Tartan Army to move closer to playoff place

Faroe Islands v Scotland: Tartan Army to move closer to playoff place

Faroe Islands v Scotland
Tuesday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports

Scotland head into game eight of their World Cup qualifying campaign in a strong position following a monumental win over Israel at Hampden on Saturday. Having battled to beat their nearest rivals and strengthen their bid for the playoff place behind runaway leaders Denmark, the team must now hold their concentration against the Faroe Islands.

The home team have nothing to lose here, but they have never recorded a win over Scotland in 10 previous meetings. The head-to-head stats show there have been eight wins for the Scots with two draws. Faroes haven’t found the net against Tuesday’s opponents in over 18 years, with that barren spell covering four games.

With three games remaining in the group and two of those against the bottom two sides in the pool, Scotland can almost touch the playoffs. To ensure they secure their place, Steve Clarke’s men must get the job done against the Faroes.

Minnows managed a rare win

The Faroe Islands always knew they were involved in this World Cup qualifying pool to make up the numbers. One of the competition’s small teams, they are capable of causing the odd upset and making life uncomfortable for opponents during a campaign.

It’ll be long before they are troubling the prize places and qualifying for a World Cup proper. Never say never in football, of course, but they won’t be at Qatar 2022.

Followers of the Faroes must take their positives where they can get them, and they did claim an impressive win recently to move on to four points. That came in the form of a stunning 2-1 over fellow strugglers Moldova in September, a result that should ensure they avoid finishing in the wooden spoon position.

Although the final score was tight, Faroes held a 2-0 advantage until late in the game and were fully deserving of their victory. They failed to make it two on the bounce when losing 2-0 at home to Austria on Saturday.

Tartan Army enjoy a special win

Scotland produced a win for the ages on Saturday when twice fighting back from a goal down to defeat Israel at Hampden. On what was a special night in Glasgow, the first time Hampden had been packed to capacity since the match with England in 2017, there was optimism in the air. It was short-lived as Israel moved into an early lead.

John McGinn levelled, sparking a flurry of activity towards the end of the first half. Moments after the match went 1-1, Israel scored again, then Lyndon Dykes missed a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Scotland were better after the re-start with Chelsea wonderkid Billy Gilmour pulling the strings in midfield. The hosts finally got level when Dykes made up for his spot-kick on 55 minutes, thanks to VAR.

With the game heading for a draw that would have suited Scotland, there was to be one final twist in the tale as Man Utd’s Scott McTominay bundled in a stoppage-time winner to send the home fans into orbit.

There’s more work to be done

Clarke’s boys received the plaudits their play and fighting spirit deserved in that win over Israel, but nothing has been decided yet. The race for second place in the pool remains live, although Scotland do have an advantage over Israel in third. Win their next two games against the Faroe Islands and Moldova, and they’ll secure the runners up finish.

The visitors can’t afford to get carried away, but they have won each of their last three games and travel with confidence. Scotland to bag a fourth win on the bounce is 1.292/7 on the Betfair Exchange with the Faroe Islands written off at 14.5. The draw isn’t much more likely at 6.05/1.

Clarke will want more from his defence

Clarke will be eager to take things one game at a time, but he will be planning for future challenges and will want to see better from his defence after leaking two goals on Saturday. Scotland has won four against the Faroe Islands without conceding, and a win to nil is 1.834/5.

Scotland fans have become accustomed to fearing the worst, but Clarke’s team are playing great football, the best since Walter Smith’s time in charge. The stats show Scotland have won away to the Faroes only twice before, but both games ended 2-0. Under 2.5 goals again, here is 2.021/1 with another 2-0 correct score 6.25/1.