It’s been 23 years since Scotland last featured in a World Cup tournament and it’s safe to say that when they have qualified, they haven’t excelled given that they’ve never made it through to the knockout stages of the competition. However, they’ll want another crack at it in Qatar next year and Steve Clarke’s side may get that opportunity if they’re able to pick up a few more wins during qualifying.
Scotland’s World Cup Qualifying Group
Scotland were drawn into Group F along with Denmark, Israel, Austria, the Faroe Islands and Moldova. It’s by no means an easy group to qualify from but after eight matches, Scotland find themselves in a promising position.
Here’s how the table looks heading into the final two sets of fixtures.
Four of Scotland’s victories during the qualification stages have come by a one-goal margin, including their most recent wins against Moldova (1-0), Austria (1-0), Israel (3-2) and the Faroe Islands (1-0).
What Do Scotland Need To Qualify?
Only the top team will qualify automatically for the World Cup. As Denmark are seven points ahead of Scotland with two games to play, Scotland’s only chance of qualifying is through the playoffs. To reach the playoffs, they must finish second which means that they need to pick up three or more points from their final two qualifying fixtures in order for Israel to be unable to catch them.
The final two fixtures will see Scotland face Moldova on the 12th of November and Denmark three days later. Denmark are yet to drop a point in qualifying and impressively, yet to concede a goal. Therefore, picking up maximum points away to Moldova is vital for Clarke’s side. Thankfully, Moldova are one of the weaker sides in the group and despite only beating them 1-0 at Hampden Park last month, Scotland should have more than enough to come away with the three points that they need. Should they do that, a second-place finish in Group F would be guaranteed and Scotland would earn their place in the 2022 World Cup playoffs.
|Group F - Top 2 Finish Betting Odds|
As you can see from the above, Scotland are strong favourites with UK betting sites to finish in the top two places in Group F compared to Israel.
World Cup Playoffs
The playoffs are scheduled to take place in March 2022 and will feature 12 teams. Ten of those teams will qualify by finishing second in their groups and the remaining two places are awarded to the highest-ranked teams that won their UEFA Nations League groups.
The twelve teams will be drawn into three groups with the top three top teams after the knockout rounds gaining their place in the World Cup along with 29 other nations from around the World.
Four successive victories have propelled Scotland into second place in their group and has fans biting their nails at the thought of inclusion in the World Cup for the first time since France ’98. Three points against Moldova next month would secure a place in the playoffs – a route that they were forced to take, and succeeded in, to qualify for Euro 2020.