Scotland manager Steve Clarke

Scotland v Ukraine tips: Nations League best bets and preview

Scotland face Ukraine in Nations League action on Wednesday. James Cantrill has picked out two best bets for the game.

Football betting tips: Nations League

0.5pts Kieran Tierney to register an assist at 13/2 (Sky Bet)

0.5pts Scott McKenna to be shown a card at 11/2 (bet365)

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In their last six games, Scotland’s only two victories have come against minnows Armenia, and they have only kept one clean sheet over that six month period.

There have been encouraging signs for Steve Clarke’s side though, as the Tartan Army won six consecutive games in their World Cup qualifying campaign, besting Austria, Israel and Denmark on their trip to the play-offs.

Ultimately though, they fell at the penultimate hurdle en route to Qatar, as Wednesday's opponents beat them 3-1 at Hampden Park at the start of June.

Scotland have played three times in League B Group A, picking up six points courtesy of Armenia to leave them second, one point behind Ukraine and three points ahead of the Republic of Ireland.

Scotland will face Ukraine twice within the next week, with their return fixture against the ROI sandwiched between, meaning their Nations League fate will be decided by next Tuesday.

Kick-off time: 19:45 BST, Wednesday

TV channel: ITV4, Premier Sports 1

Scotland 6/4 | Draw 2/1 | Ukraine 15/8

Ukraine came within a whisker of the World Cup after overcoming the Scots, before Wales beat them at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Since that heartbreak, Oleksandr Petrakov’s side have made an unbeaten start to their Nations League campaign, taking four points off the Republic of Ireland and beating Armenia.

The Yellow and Blue will be without Oleksandr Zinchenko for this clash after he picked up a muscle strain at the weekend.

The hosts also miss a key man with captain Andy Robertson sidelined, a blow softened by the availability of KIERAN TIERNEY, and I think there is value to be had with Arsenal’s left back.

At 13/2 to register an ASSIST, I think Tierney is worth a punt.

In Robertson's absence, the full back should be playing in a slightly more advanced role than previously, moving from left centre-back to left wing-back, which should see an increase in his attacking output.

During World Cup qualification, Scotland scored 17 goals and 41% of those were assisted by either Tierney, Robertson or Nathan Patterson at right wing-back.

Scotland players celebrate as Steve Clarke's side make the World Cup play-offs

Tierney racked up three assists in total, all coming from LCB. He is yet to feature in this Nations League campaign but, at LWB, Robertson has averaged three key passes per game. I expect Tierney to post similar numbers in his absence.

Maurizio Mariani has the whistle for this one. The Italian whistle-blower dished out eight cards in the only Nations League game he has overseen this season.

Mariani has brandished 40 cards in his last seven games in all competitions, flashing red in five of his last 12 games, so we could see a few at Hampden Park on Wednesday.

With that in mind, I have delved into the player card market.

At 11/2, SCOTT MCKENNA’s price TO BE SHOWN A CARD certainly appeals. Domestically, the centre-back already has three to his name operating at LCB for Nottingham Forest this season.

With him expected to play a similar role for his nation, he could familiarise himself with the referee.

McKenna has picked up four cards in 14 competitive appearances for Scotland, giving him a cards per 90 average of 0.27. This, combined with the referee's reputation, is why I would have personally taken anything north of 7/2.

Scotland v Ukraine best bets and score prediction

  • 0.5pts Kieran Tierney to register an assist at 13/2 (Sky Bet)
  • 0.5pts Scott McKenna to be shown a card at 11/2 (bet365)

Score prediction: Scotland 1-1 Ukraine (Sky Bet odds: 5/1)

Odds correct at 1400 BST (20/09/22)

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