Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

RITCHIE PICKINGS; Matt Can Add Gloss to Scots' Hopes of Second Win

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

RITCHIE PICKINGS; Matt Can Add Gloss to Scots' Hopes of Second Win

Article excerpt


SCOTLAND got off to a World Cup flier in Valletta and should stay on the Road to Russia tonight.

Lithuania at home is a must-win match for any side wanting to mix it with the Muscovites and while it won't be pretty we should get the job done.

It was a Maltese pleaser for Gordon Strachan's side as we won 5-1 with a little help from the ref who wrongly handed us a penalty.

Scotland have a 100 per cent home record against Baltic nations and we've beaten Lithuania three times at Hampden. We are massive favourites to maintain that record at 1-2 with Betfred.

A damaging draw pays 10-3 at Paddy Power and a Lithuania success is 8-1 at Winner. Any Scots fans who backs that will have a Winner and a loser!

I'm sure Strachan would settle for a 1-0 victory and that pays 9-2 at William Hill. However, he has seen his side concede to the likes of Gibraltar, Malta and Georgia so not many will back the Scots to win to nil at 11-10 (Paddy Power).

We might need two to get the job done so consider a Scotland win and over 2.5 goals at 13-8 with Paddy Power.

And what about scorers? Robert Snodgrass bagged a hat-trick in Malta and the penalty taker is 5-2 at 888sport to score again and 6-1 at BetVictor to score first.

For another treble McBookie offer 50-1. He must have a chance of netting as does Matt Ritchie who played well in Malta. With Lithuania packing their defence it may take a Ritchie rocket to break them down.

The Newcastle midfielder is 15-2 at McBookie to score first and I'm on him at 11-4 with Betfred to net at any time.

THERE another World Cup tomorrow and are back in after drawing Austria. They beat Wales and are expected Moldova. Add to beat Kosovo treble that pays Hills. Put in to Macedonia Leigh Griffiths would have started in Malta if he'd been fit and in his absence Chris Martin played up top. Martin netted and may get the nod again with Griffiths used off the bench. …

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