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Scotland v Armenia: Scots must put disappointment behind them

| 06.06.2022

Scotland v Armenia betting tips, odds and preview

Scotland host Armenia in the opening match of their Nations League campaign at Hampden tonight.

The first-ever meeting between the two nations kicks off at 7.45pm on Premier Sports as we pick out some Scotland v Armenia betting tips.

Ukraine hangover

Scotland kick off their Nations League campaign a week after the shattering blow of producing a meek performance in their 3-1 World Cup play-off defeat by Ukraine.

Confidence and expectations were high going into that match on the back of qualification for Euro 2020 and the fact they were on an eight-game unbeaten run.

Having spent the days after that huge Hampden disappointment licking their wounds, Steve Clarke will be hoping his players are ready to get back on the horse and spark another run of form.

Scotland are 1/3 for victory and evens to win by two goals or more.

Chance to boost Germany prospects

While there is a general lack of excitement in Scotland for the upcoming Nations League games after last week’s disappointment, the importance of these fixtures should not be underestimated.

Clarke and his players need only cast their mind back to how they qualified for Euro 2020 to understand the benefit of taking the matches against Armenia and Republic of Ireland seriously. After all, it was winning their Nations League group that gained them access to the play-off from which they defeated Israel and Serbia en route to the last Euros.

There is a similar incentive on the table this time around, with the top side in the four-team Nations League group guaranteed a play-off for Euro 2024 in Germany.

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Patterson back in the mix

After making his international debut a year ago, Nathan Patterson set about establishing himself as Scotland’s first-choice right wing-back in the second half of 2021.

The 20-year-old Everton player missed the play-off defeat by Ukraine as he continued his battle to regain full fitness following a two-month lay-off with an ankle injury.

The predominantly left-sided Aaron Hickey played on the right in Patterson’s absence but largely struggled on his competitive debut.

Patterson is now deemed to be back in contention in what represents a welcome boost to Clarke.

Defensive tweaks likely

The defence malfunctioned last Wednesday in the absence of key man Kieran Tierney, with the three-man backline of Scott McTominay, Grant Hanley and Liam Cooper looking ill at ease against Ukraine.

Given the performance and the concession of three goals at home, changes are likely. John Souttar, Jack Hendry and Scott McKenna are the three centre-backs waiting in the wings and it would not be a surprise to see any – or all – of them start against Armenia.

A home win to nil is an option for Scotland v Armenia betting tips at 20/23 while both teams to score is 11/8. A Scotland victory with goals at both ends has been boosted to 29/10.

Attacking alteration

With Lyndon Dykes absent through injury, Clarke will be forced to make at least one change to his attack.

The QPR striker started alongside Che Adams in a front two that did not bear much fruit before being substituted at half-time last week.

If the manager wants a like-for-like replacement, then Sunderland’s Ross Stewart may be considered for a first international start, although there is a good chance Ryan Christie – a regular starter under Clarke – will return in a role just off the main striker.

Adams is the 16/5 favourite to open the scoring while Christie is 9/2 and Stewart is 6/4 to find the net.

Armenia arrive on a high

Armenia are 92nd in the FIFA rankings and have never qualified for a World Cup or European Championship.

They suffered a record defeat when they were thrashed 9-0 in Norway in March’s friendly after having defender Arman Hovhannisyan sent off after 17 minutes. However, Armenia travel to Glasgow on a high after a terrific start to their Nations League campaign against the Republic of Ireland.

Eduard Spertsyan’s long-range strike in Yerevan was enough to hand the hosts a 1-0 victory in their first League B game and give Joaquin Caparros’ men a huge boost.

He said: “It’s one of the greatest victories of the Armenian football team because Ireland is a very good team.”

Armenia are 10/1 to claim a second successive win and are 9/4 to avoid defeat at Hampden.

Adamyan the main threat

Caparros’ team is built upon a tried-and-tested foundation with goalkeeper David Yurchenko and defenders Varazdat Haroyan and Kamo Hovhanissyan near constants in a side who invariably line up with four at the back.

Nigeria-born Solomon Udo is equally a fixture in the Armenian midfield, often alongside Tigran Barseghyan and Artak Grigoryan, although Caparros switched from a 4-4-2 approach to a 4-2-3-1 and sometimes 4-3-3 during the World Cup qualifiers.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s retirement earlier this year has left a huge hole in Armenia’s attacking resources with Sargis Adamyan, who spent last season on loan at Club Brugge from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, more often than not finding his way into whatever system the coach has employed.

Adamyan is 5/1 to be on target and 12/1 to score first, which look decent options for punters looking to oppose the hosts in Scotland v Armenia betting tips.

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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication



Andrew McDermott

Andrew is a sports betting content journalist at PA Media. He is a lifelong Huddersfield Town fan but when he isn't reminiscing about their Premier League days he is also a junior cricket coach and enjoys cycling.