Scotland and Wales out to upset odds
Scotland and Wales are big underdogs when visiting Group A front-runners Belgium and Croatia in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifiers but both managers are eyeing surprise wins.
Belgium impressed when beating Wales and Serbia away either side of a home draw with Croatia but Craig Levein is backing Scotland to belie odds of 10/1 for his side to bounce back from defeat in Cardiff with a Brussels victory, while it is 4/1 the visitors secure a point.
Levein said: “There is absolutely no doubt we have a big performance in us. That has been evident in a number of games we have played and we need that tonight. We are capable of it. This is a tough place for anybody to come and take points, we accept that, but we are capable of it.
“They are a very good team and have a good group of individual players. To go to Serbia and win 3-0 is a very good job indeed. We are aware of the strengths of Belgium but we are capable of a big performance and that’s what we are looking for. We have a plan we have been working on for a few days.”
Many pundits believe Levein’s position is in jeopardy but skipper Darren Fletcher added: “We are desperate for the performance and the win for the manager because we believe in him as a team, as a group. We’ve seen the work he puts in, the way he treats the players, the attention to detail that goes into every game.”
Croatia have beaten Macedonia at home and away, as well as drawing in Belgium, but Wales will be looking to build on Friday’s win over Scotland and can be backed at 12/1 to prevail again or 19/4 to share the spoils.
Wales were thrashed 6-1 in Serbia in their last away game but Chris Coleman said: “Croatia are a good team littered with good players, it is good for us to go there off the back of a win and a good performance.
“Nevertheless, I think we must learn from the last double-header; Belgium was a good performance even though we lost, and then we were poor against Serbia. We can’t repeat that. It is a tough, tough game for us, but one we think we can get something out of.”