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Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Scots have point to prove at Pittodrie under Mackay

Disjointed Holland short of firepower in friendly

Davy Propper battles for the ball during Holland's qualifier against Bulgaria
1 of 1

International friendly
Sky Sports Football, 7.45pm Thursday

A half-full Pittodrie on a cold autumnal night makes a fittingly bleak backdrop to this meeting of World Cup qualifying flops and a punt on the Scots is worth considering.

The Dutch go off clear favourites in the Granite City for what may well be Dick Advocaat’s penultimate match in charge.

The former Rangers boss will be looking to make it five wins in six on his watch.

However, punters have to wonder whether the shell of an Oranje squad who have looked uncommitted and disjointed for long periods of their last two failed qualifying campaigns will be any more inspired for a meaningless friendly across the North Sea.


Read more international match previews

Northern Ireland v Switzerland

Croatia v Greece

Romania v Turkey


Big names Virgil van Dijk, Daley Blind, Gini Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay are expected to be involved but that in itself shouldn’t mean the visitors are the team to back.

Scotland, under unpopular interim boss Malky Mackay, have eight new players in their squad, all of whom will be desperate to get a chance and make their mark.

It’s a big opportunity for them, especially the Aberdeen contingent who, having been branded a “laughing stock” by ex-international Kris Boyd, will be keen to prove they’re worth a place at the top level.

Gordon Strachan bequeathed to Mackay a team who are unbeaten in seven games.

There is no great expectation for goals, possibly because both sides are seriously short of natural frontmen. Over 2.5 goals, therefore, is a 5-4 shot.

Scotland’s last seven friendlies have produced just ten goals. In contrast, ten of Holland’s last 14 friendlies have yielded at least three.

Interestingly, eight of the last nine goals scored in Scotland’s non-competitive games have come in the first half. Given the constant and disruptive substitutions which are bound to occur as the game goes on, the 12-5 that there are more goals in the first 45 minutes is also worth an interest.

Recommendations
Scotland
1pt 29-10 bet365

First half to produce more goals
1pt 12-5 Coral, Ladbrokes

Bet on this match at soccerbase.com

Team news
Scotland
Darren Fletcher and Leigh Griffiths were the weekend’s two big-name withdrawals. Eight uncapped players have been drafted in.

Holland
Jurgen Locadia is the latest withdrawal, following fellow frontmen Bas Dost and Vincent Janssen out of the squad. Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben has retired from international football.

Key stat
Seven of Holland’s last eight games have featured over 2.5 goals.


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Eight of the last nine goals scored in Scotland’s non-competitive games have come in the first half
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