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DoofersDad

World Cup Qualifiers

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A convincing win for Scotland tonight.  So often, Scotland have nearly reached a major championship finals but in the end have narrowly missed out.  I wonder if this time, after having been written off by just about everybody, they will pull off a surprise and make it through?  It seems that Strachan has finally understood that having Celtic players as the core of the squad has the advantage that they know each others game and that this makes the whole team a more cohesive unit.  However, even with 7 points from their last two games Scotland would almost certainly finish 3rd and therefore they have to beat Slovakia at Hampden in October.  They really should beat both Malta and Slovenia, so beating Slovakia as well would give them 20 points.  With 20 points Scotland could theoretically win the group but that would require a highly unlikely sequence of events.  20 points would almost certainly be good enough for the play offs should they finish second, but 20 points might well see them finish 3rd.

Assuming Slovakia beat Malta and lose to Scotland  then Slovakia would need to beat England on Monday to finish ahead of Scotland.  That would give them 21 points.      Two wins or a win and a draw against Slovenia and Lithuania would also put England over  the 20 point mark.. But a win and a loss in their last 2 games would leave England level with Scotland on the 20 point mark.  Should Slovakia draw against England then they would end on 19 points - one behind Scotland.  This would put England on 18 points so a win against either Lithuania or Slovenia would see them topping the group.  The key game is therefore on Monday when England host Slovakia.  If Slovakia fail to win then Scotland's fate will be in their own hands.  A win for England would put them already on 20 points with a vastly superior goal difference to Scotland.  A draw would therefore give Scotland an outside chance of winning the group in the event of England then slipping up against Slovenia and Lithuania.  The fact that Scotland could finish equal 1st or 2nd with England means that goal difference is decisive.  Scotland should therefore be looking to score as many as possible against Malta on Monday whilst hoping Slovakia don't beat England

If Slovakia fail to beat England, and Scotland beat Slovakia next month, then Scotland should reach the playoffs.  Monday should therefore be one off those rare occasions when Scots don't want England to lose!

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Feeling quietly optimistic but still a long shot.  First things first we need to beat Malta and hope Slovakia don't win at Wembley.  That will set up a monumental game against them at Hampden next month!  More than we could have hoped for a few games ago!

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France were held to a draw at home tonight by Luxembourg.  Just goes to show that the unexpected can happen.  Provided Slovakia don't beat England then Scotland's fate is in their own hands.  Their game against Slovakia in October would be a massive game, but win that and they should reach the play offs.   Kenny apart, is there genuinely so little enthusiasm amongst Scots for these qualifiers or is that you simply can't admit there is a game of football you don't want the English to lose?

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I always hope for the best but fear the worst.......

If we can get out of this group, it will be tremendous after the poor start, but there is a lot of water to flow under a lot of bridges.

A win tomorrow night with England doing us a favour will do nicely for starters!

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Just now, Robert said:

I always hope for the best but fear the worst.......

If we can get out of this group, it will be tremendous after the poor start, but there is a lot of water to flow under a lot of bridges.

A win tomorrow night with England doing us a favour will do nicely for starters!

Oh FFS do we have to support England tomorrow night :ohmy:

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14 minutes ago, IBM said:

Oh FFS do we have to support England tomorrow night :ohmy:

It's not that bad.  From Scotland's perspective it makes no difference if Slovakia win or draw.  A draw would be fine  for Scotland so you don't have to hope for an England win.  In fact, a draw would be the best result for Scotland as it also opens up the possibility of catching England and actually winning the group.  Given the way England laboured against Malta on Friday, a boring draw is maybe the most likely result.

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16 minutes ago, DoofersDad said:

It's not that bad.  From Scotland's perspective it makes no difference if Slovakia win or draw.  A draw would be fine  for Scotland so you don't have to hope for an England win.  In fact, a draw would be the best result for Scotland as it also opens up the possibility of catching England and actually winning the group.  Given the way England laboured against Malta on Friday, a boring draw is maybe the most likely result.

Thanks for that DD you are the  "font of all knowledge"  DD :smile: I will get a better sleep tonight now :lol:

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1 1  at half time at Wembley

England are not playing very well at all

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Well, who would have thought it.  A Hampden crowd cheering an England goal and Scotland, whilst beating Malta slipping down a place in the table.  But still, the key thing is that with Slovakia losing, Scotland's fate is in their own hands - win their remaining games and they make the play offs.  Scotland's match next month against Slovakia should be an absolute cracker 

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And a cracker it was.  Brilliant result for Scotland.  With England having beaten Slovenia it now means that Slovenia need to beat Scotland and hope that Slovakia somehow fail to beat Malta.  I can't see Slovakia not beating Malta and therefore it may well be that Slovenia will have lost some of their motivation for Sunday's final game.  Scotland should be favourites to come 2nd in the group.  And with the way Scotland are playing at the moment, they will not fear any team that they might get in the play offs.

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Yes, nail biting stuff, and it all comes down to a real 'must win' game on Sunday.  I know there is a mathematical chance of a draw being enough to secure second place in the group, but I think we can reasonably think that the odds against Slovakia dropping points against Malta are likely to be 50 to 1 against,  or more.

Even second place with 20 points ,(reducing to 14 in the process to decide which of the 9 second places misses out), may not be enough to see us into the November play offs but we would be very unlucky to miss out if this case, and the odds would now be in our favour.

All in all, a great position to be in which many of us would not have thought possible a few months ago.  I just hope that we don't end up regretting England's last minute equaliser against us a few weeks ago.

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Slovenia will be tough. They have yet to concede at home in this set of qualifiers. Having said that, we look more than capable of getting goals in every game now. Something you could not have said at the start of the qualifiers. 

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Bosnia losing 4-3 to Belgium tonight confirms that a win for Scotland tomorrow will guarantee a playoff place!

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18 hours ago, KennySim93 said:

Bosnia losing 4-3 to Belgium tonight confirms that a win for Scotland tomorrow will guarantee a playoff place!

I have watched Scotland fall at the final hurdle, often with far better players than the current squad, over the decades to do anything other than watch through splayed fingers and fortified by Islay Malt.

I have learned to live with the constant disappointment. It's these tantalising but ultimately illusory moments of hope that get to me.

Edited by Kingsmills

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Chin up Kingsmills.  I've been watching Scotland for longer than you, and I can relate to those times of disappointment and false hope you so accurately portray.  But maybe this time will be different.  We have to believe that, don't we?

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5 hours ago, Kingsmills said:

I have watched Scotland fall at the final hurdle, often with far better players than the current squad, over the decades to do anything other than watch through splayed fingers and fortified by Islay Malt.

I have learned to live with the constant disappointment. It's these tantalising but ultimately illusory moments of hope that get to me.

As exemplified this afternoon in a ninety minute nutshell.

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37 minutes ago, Kingsmills said:

As exemplified this afternoon in a ninety minute nutshell.

I hope you enjoyed your Islay Malt more than the football.

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Someone just texted into Off The Ball calling for Yogi to get the Scotland job! :laugh:

Edited by Renegade

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38 minutes ago, Renegade said:

Someone just texted into Off The Ball calling for Yogi to get the Scotland job! :laugh:

Scotland the banter years then 😁

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Too much sitting in defending a slim lead : even at 1-1 we carried on in the same vein.

Should have played the whole match like we did in the final 10 minutes.

......and too much hit and hope hoofball a la ICT last season

 

 

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7 hours ago, IBM said:

I hope you enjoyed your Islay Malt more than the football.

Believe me, I did. Quite happy to buy Gordon Strachan a bottle to mark his retirement.

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6 minutes ago, DoofersDad said:

Oh well. Gordon Stachan or Chris Coleman as ICT's next manager?

At least Coleman has had some success at international level.

If there was any case at all for Strachan staying it ended with his ridiculous excuse about us being at a 'genetic disadvantage' both Northern Ireland and the Republic have qualified for the play offs with smaller populations and I am not aware of the island of Ireland being populated by giants.

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I rather feel ICT finances will not stretch to anything better than a rookie manager , or a  proven manager for a lower league team. 

Lower league managers like the guy at Accrington , stooped to watching Sunday league football in Liverpool, in the hope that he would spot a gem.

If Iceland  can qualify and put England to shame, anything is possible in football .

Plenty of giants in Scottish sport most play rugby though

 

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