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Cyprus vs Scotland Preview, Tips & Stats

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        • (6') S. McTominay
        • (16') R. Porteous
        • (30') J. McGinn
        • (8') Anderson Correia
        • (57') I. Pittas
        • (84') M. Ioannou
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              Cyprus vs Scotland Preview, Tips & Stats

              Cyprus host Scotland at the AEK Arena this Friday in the fifth game of the UEFA Euro Qualifiers. Though Scotland are in control of the group, a win would only strengthen their lead, whereas a win for Cyprus would help them get at least a point on the board.

              Cyprus sit rock bottom of Group A with zero points to their name so far. In the three games Cyprus have played, they have zero wins and three losses. The hosts also have the worst goal difference in the group scoring only two goals and conceding eight goals.

              The first game of the Qualifiers was against this week’s opponent Scortland. John McGinn scored in the first half and Scott McTominay bagged a brace late in the game to give Scotland the 3 - 0 win, with Nicholas Ioannou being sent off for Cyprus in extra time. The next game was a visit from Georgia. Georges Mikautadze opened the scoring for Georgia, but Ioannis equalised with a penalty for Cyprus to tie the teams at 1 - 1 going into half time. However, Zuriko Davitashvii scored in the 84th minute to give Georgia the 2 - 1 win. The final Qualifier in the last international break was a trip to Norway. Ola Solbakken scored early in the first half and then Erling Haaland scored a penalty and another goal in just four minutes to give Norway the 3 - 1 win despite the late goal from Grigoris Kastanos.

              Cyprus also played an international friendly in the last break. Though Cyprus took the lead through Andreas Karo, a double from Grant-Leon Ranos for Armenia gave them the 2 - 1 lead. However, Demetris Christofi popped up with an equaliser in the 83rd minute though Kostakis Artymatas was sent off in the last minute of the game.

              Scotland sit top of Group A after four games. With four wins, Scotland have 12 points from the 12 on offer and are eight points clear of second place Georgia. However, a team with the calibre of Spain have only played twice so may challenge Scotland when they play their games in hand.

              Scotland faced Cyprus back in March in a 3 - 0 thrashing with a goal from McGinn and a double from McTominay after six shots on target. Next was a big upset for Scotland. McTominay bagged yet another brace, this time against the highly rated Spain in a 2 - 0 win. Scotland then travelled to Norway where the dominant force of Haaland wasn’t enough to stop Scotland. Haaland did score a penalty to give Norway the lead, but goals from Lydon Dykes and Kenny McLean gave Scotland the 2 - 1 win.

              The most recent outing for Scotland was a home tie against Georgia. Callum McGregor scored in the sixth minute and McTominay found the back of the net in the second half in the 2 - 0 win.

              Cyprus and Scotland have met eight times in their histories, the first meeting coming back in 1968. Scotland have completely dominated the fixture, winning all eight games. The tie usually promises goals, with no meeting between the two ending with less than three goals.

              Cyprus Team News

              Cyprus head coach Temur Ketsbaia usually favours the defensive formation of 5 - 4 - 1. This conservative formation usually employs Ioannou, Konstantinos Laifis and Alex Gogic as the three centre backs in the heart of the defence. Also lining up the back may be fullbacks Anderson Correia and Minas Antoniou.

              Scotland Team News

              Steve Clarke also prefers a five at the back, using a 5 - 3 - 2. The defence is usually characterised by the fullbacks of Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson and Real Sociedad’s Kieran Tierney. The midfield is also somewhat stacked with Aston Villa’s McGinn, Manchester United’s McTominay and Brighton’s Billy Gilmour.