Scotland hasn’t qualified for a major international soccer tournament since the World Cup back in 1998. However, their fate is in their own hands on Oct. 11th as they can qualify for the Euro 2012 playoffs by winning their last game of the qualifying round. However, the problem is, they’re facing reigning World and European Champions Spain. To make matters worse it’s a road game for the Scots and Spain is a perfect 7-0 in the qualifying round.
Scotland put themselves in position to finish second in Group I by beating Liechtenstein 1-0 in an away game on Oct. 8th while third-place Czech Republic were beaten 2-0 at home by Spain. The Spanish have already qualified with 21 points from seven straight wins. Scotland sits in second place with 11 points from three wins, two draws and two losses. They’re followed by the Czech Republic who have 10 points on three wins, a draw and three losses.
If Scotland can manage to best Spain on Tuesday they’ll be guaranteed a playoff spot for next year’s tournament. However, a loss combined with a Czech Republic draw or win would kill off their chances. The Czech Rep0ublic travels to Lithuania to take on the fifth-place team in their six-team group. The good news for Scotland is that Lithuania has already beaten the Czechs in their own back yard earlier on in the qualifying round.
If Scotland and the Czechs both lose then Scotland will end up in second place. If both teams end up tied on point then the Czechs will advance due to their better head-to-head record against Scotland since they beat them and drew with them. The Scots put up a fine battle against Spain in their home leg against them last year, but came out on the wrong end of a 3-2 decision. Spain has four wins and a draw in their last five games overall while Scotland has three wins, a draw and a loss.
Scotland won’t know until game time if Barry Bannan and striker Craig Mackail-Smith will be able to play due to injuries. However, striker Kenny Miller could return to action. Raul Albiol of Real Madrid will miss the match for Spain as he has a fractured cheekbone.
Sportsbook SportsInteraction.com has the odds of a Spain win listed -667 at while a Scotland victory is +1150 and a draw is +570. Visit www.SportsInteraction.com to bet on the Euro 2012 qualifer or to check up to date odds for every Euro2012 qualifier taking place on Tuesday.
Look for Scotland to put up a valiant effort as they so often do, but to just fall short of their goal. Spain should win this game by one or two goals.
Play: Spain -667
Written by: Ian Palmer