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World Cup

Nov 12, 2021 at 5pm UK

Bolohan (58'), Marandici (60'), Ionita (60'), Puntus (73'), Rata (79')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Patterson (38'), Adams (65')
Patterson (54')

Preview: Moldova vs. Scotland - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Moldova vs. Scotland - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's World Cup Qualifying - Europe clash between Moldova and Scotland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Scotland can secure a World Cup 2022 qualifying playoff spot by overcoming minnows Moldova at Stadionul Zimbru in Chisinau on Friday evening.

Steve Clarke's men have won four games in a row in Group F, but any sort of slip up against bottom side Moldova will give Israel the chance to pounce.

Match preview

After a rather underwhelming first half to qualifying that saw them win just one of their opening four games, Scotland have since hit form with 12 points from 12.

Winning away in Austria two months ago gave Clarke's charges belief that they could still qualify for Qatar 2022, and they followed that up with a 3-2 win at home to Israel.

Scott McTominay's 94th-minute winner at Hampden Park ensured Scotland's qualifying fate was in their own hands, which remains the case after edging out Faroe Islands 1-0.

Next up is a trip to Moldova, who have one point from their eight games, followed by the visit of group winners Denmark, who can afford to rotate their squad should they wish.

Going into that Denmark game needing a result could prove incredibly nervy, but Scotland will look to get the job done before next Monday's match in Glasgow.

The Scots can achieve that by beating Moldova on Friday. A draw would also be enough should Israel draw with Austria, or indeed a defeat if Israel also lose.

Moldova do not exactly pose the biggest obstacle to Scotland given that they are ranked 181st in the FIFA rankings and have won one of their last 38 qualifying matches.

Roberto Bordin's men have lost seven qualifiers in a row since drawing with the Faroe Islands in their opening Group F match.

However, Scotland could only scrape a 1-0 win when the sides met in the reverse fixture two months ago through a first-half Lyndon Dykes goal.

The Tartan Army have never failed to beat Moldova in three previous attempts. Extend that run on Friday and they will have a playoff to look forward to next March.

Moldova World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Moldova form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Scotland World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Scotland form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Kieran Tierney has spent a period on the sidelines for Arsenal, but he was back among the substitutes for the Gunners' win against Watford on Sunday.

The versatile defender will likely be risked by Clarke for the first of this November double-header, with Andy Robertson and Nathan Patterson operating in the wing-back positions.

Ryan Fraser has pulled out of the squad through injury, however, while Dykes and Ryan Christie are suspended for the trip to Chisinau.

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay also did not travel with the squad on Thursday due to a throat infection.

That could mean a first cap for Jacob Brown, who has impressed in the Championship for Stoke City this campaign.

As for Moldova, Olympiacos full-back Oleg Reabciuk is suspended after being sent off against Israel last month.

Ion Nicolaescu has two goals in six qualifying fixtures this campaign and should lead the line for the hosts.

Moldova possible starting lineup:
Avram; Armas, Posmac, Potirniche; Jardan, Dros, Ionita, Rata, Marandici; Ghecev, Nicolaescu

Scotland possible starting lineup:
Gordon; Hendry, Hanley, Tierney; Patterson, McLean, Gilmour, McGregor, Robertson; McGinn; Adams

We say: Moldova 0-4 Scotland

Scotland almost pride themselves on never being able to achieve things the easy way, but this should - should - be a routine away win for Clarke's side.

Moldova have lost their last seven qualifiers by an aggregate score of 23-3, whereas Scotland have won four in a row 6-2 combined, so we are going for a big-scoring away win here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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