Malta v Scotland – Ta’Qali National Stadium at 19:45 live on Sky Sports 1
On Sunday evening Malta take on Scotland as both teams kick-off their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
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Malta have never qualified for a World Cup or European Championship and tend to struggle in competitive fixtures.
June 2013 was the last time Malta won a competitive game, beating Armenia 1-0 away from home, with the single goal being scored by Mifsud.
You have to go back even further when searching for Malta’s last home competitive victory and that came against Hungary in 2006, as Schembri scored a brace in a 2-1 victory for the home side.
It seems that Malta aren’t the best at finding the net either and only managed to score 3 goals in their 10 qualifying games in the build up to Euro 2016.
With only 2 wins in their last 20 games across all competitions (3-2 friendly victory against Faroe Islands and a 2-0 friendly win over Lithuania), it is likely that the home side are going to struggle against Scotland, who only narrowly missed out on qualification for Euro 2016.
Gordon Strachan’s side just missed out on qualification for Euro 2016 and were the only home nation not to take part in the competition.
Scotland would have been kicking themselves after their 1-0 defeat to Georgia ultimately sealed their fate, a game which they needed to and were expected to win in order to grab a spot in the tournament.
Strachan’s men tend to struggle away from home and only won 1 of their 5 away matches in Euro 2016 qualifying and that was against Gibraltar in what became a 6-0 thrashing.
The Scots have found it difficult to qualify for the big tournaments in recent years, with their last World Cup being back in 1998 when they were eliminated at the group stages.
On this occasion however, despite being away from home I think Scotland will comfortably get the win over Malta, whose squad hasn’t strengthened much in recent years and they’ve suffered as a result. Malta seem to find it difficult to get a victory in competitive fixtures and taking into account that Scotland were unlucky to miss out on the Euros, I think the away side pose a greater threat.
My prediction is that Scotland will win this match 2-0, with my recommendation being to back the Scots -1.25 on the Asian Handicap betting market at 2.02 which looks value.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Scotland -1.25 @ 2.02 with Unibet
Prices correct at time of writing.