Preview: Scotland vs Moldova – prediction, team news, lineups
Scotland will look to bounce back from their midweek loss to Denmark with a win when they host Moldova for the fifth match of their World Cup qualifying campaign in Group F.
Meanwhile, the visitors, who rank 175th on the FIFA world rankings, are seeking their first competitive victory in 17 matches.
In what could turn out to be Scotland’s toughest Group F game, it was no surprise to see their small squad defeated 2-0 in Denmark on Wednesday.
Full-backs Daniel Wass and Joakim Maehle scored two goals in the first 15 minutes, separated by just 93 seconds, which condemned the Tartan Army to their first defeat in qualifying.
That result has seen the Scots drop from second to fourth in their group, two points behind Israel and Austria, who have risen above them with wins in the middle of the week.
A meeting against the European minnows Moldova on Saturday could not have come at a better time for Steve Clarke’s side, who have only managed one victory in their last six internationals in all competitions.
Facing a raucous crowd at Hampden Park, Scotland will be a huge favorite to get back on track against a team ranked 126 places below them in the FIFA world rankings.
Scotland last qualified for a World Cup tournament in 1998, the same year that Moldova competed in its first qualifying campaign as an independent nation.
Unsurprisingly, Roberto Bordin’s team has never qualified for a major international tournament in its 27-year history and has won only five of its 62 World Cup qualifying matches.
La Selectionata are currently last in Group F with one point from their first four matches, which was claimed in a 1-1 draw at home to the Faroe Islands in March.
Moldova’s most recent match saw them lose 2-0 at home to Austria on Wednesday, with late goals at the end of each half from Christoph Baumgartner and Marko Arnautovic securing all three points for the visitors.
Qualification for their first major tournament is unlikely, but Bordin’s men can at least aspire to finish above the foot of the table, something Moldova has only achieved twice before in their six World Cup qualifying campaigns. previous.
Scotland possible starting lineup:
Gordon; Cooper, Hanley, Tierney; O’Donnell, McGregor, Gilmour, Turnbull, Robertson; Dykes, Adams
Moldova possible starting lineup:
Avram; Jardan, Armas, Posmac, Reabciuk; Dros, Ionita; Platica, Ginsari, Spataru; Ghecev