Scotland (+130) vs. Ireland (+210) (Draw +210)
If there’s one thing I learned from Braveheart, it’s that both the Scottish and the Irish detest the English. Tomorrow (at 2:45 p.m. Eastern), the two tiny nations from the British Isles will have to put aside their similarities and focus their aggression on each other, as Ireland travels to Glasgow to face Scotland in the fourth fixture of Euro 2016 qualification.
The moneyline is fairly even heading into the game; the locals are the slight favorites, listed at +130, while an Irish win will pay +229 and the draw +210.
Friday’s match will be the tenth meeting between these two sides. The Irish narrowly lead the head-to-head history with four wins, three draws, and three losses. Both teams come in with solid results through the first three qualification matches. Scotland dropped a game to Germany (2-1, away), beat Georgia (1-0, home), and picked up a big point against Poland (1-1, away). Meanwhile, Ireland also edged out Georgia (2-1, away), walloped Gibraltar (7-0, home), and tied World Cup champion Germany (1-1, away).
Ireland’s seven points (two wins and one draw) have the team tied for top spot in Group D with Poland. With four points (one win, one loss, and one draw), Scotland is tied for third with Germany.
After leaving Germany with a point in the last match, Irish coach Martin O’Neill was ecstatic.
“It’s a great point for us, to come to the world champions and get something from the game. We had to withstand a bit of pressure, and we knew that before,” said O’Neill. “We picked up seven points from three games; we put in great performances; we had two tough away games. For us, it is just marvelous”.
Scotland picked up an equally important away point in their last match against heavyweights Poland. Coach Gordon Strachan was satisfied with the result. “The final score reflects what happened on the pitch. I am happy with our progress this year, and I see us performing better with every match. Today I was very satisfied with our defense and especially the center-backs. All the matches so far confirm that this group is the strongest one in these qualifiers,” said Strachan after the draw in Krakow.
With both teams playing well, and hoping to avoid a loss, bet the draw.
(Photo credit: Michael Kranewitter (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-at (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/at/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons.)