Can Scotland U21 finally reach the major competition?
In the absence of proper football action caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we decided to take a look at Scotland U21 team’s chances of making it to the U21 European Championshipin Hungary and Slovenia with the help of football betting tips experts at Bettingtips4you.com. The young Scots are currently halfway through their qualifying campaign. Even though they are winless in three straight affairs, the head coach Scot Gemmill can still perform the miracle and lead the team at the major youth tournament.
Fixtures against Croatia and Greece are postponed
Gemmill’s men should have played two highly-important clashes in late-March, but the matches against Croatia U21 and Greece U21 were postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The youth Scots occupy the third place in the standings of the qualifying Group 4 after five games. They got off to a fabulous start with two wins from two, a series that included the shocking 1-2 win against the group favourites Croatia U21 in mid-September last year.
However, the team failed to find the back of the net in any of the following three outings. They played back-to-back goalless draws to Lithuania U21 and Czech Republic U21 before falling 0-1 at home to Greece U21.
The young Scots conceded just two goals in five matches so far
Gemmill can clearly be thrilled about his team's stern defensive displays. Scotland U21 shipped no more than two goals in five outings even though they've played the likes of Croatia U21, Czech Republic U21, and Greece U21 in the process. The defence is obviously this side's massive strength. Can it do enough to compensate for the lack of attacking creativity at the opposite end?
Gemmill’s troops failed to score in three successive matches. The home draw to Lithuania U21 was particularly disappointing, especially if we know that it came after the initial two wins over San Marino U21 and Croatia U21.
Scotland U21 are just three points shy of the group leaders
We would’ve known much more about the team’s chances had they played the likes of Croatia U21 and Greece U21 in March. This way, it’s all still wide open. The young Scots are just three points short of the Czech Republic U21 at the top of the group. The Czechs are about to visit Tynecastle in October this year. The team can ill afford slip-ups against group underdogs (San Marino U21 and Lithuania U21). Can they do well in these postponed affairs, though?
Conor McLennan could be this generation’s driving force
Aberdeen’s striker made the difference in the aforementioned win away against Croatia U21. He came on from the bench to turn things around and bag two super-late goals within eight minutes for the youth Scots. He also earned more minutes on the pitch for the club. The 20-year-old forward bagged three goals for the Dons this season, equalling his tally from the previous term of the Premiership. He was on target in Aberdeen’s recent 2-2 draw at Kilmarnock in early-March.
We also have to mention Chelsea’s midfielder Billy Gilmour who stepped up with a phenomenal pair of performances against Liverpool and Everton respectively. He could be a vital part of the youth Scottish team in the decisive matches.
The new faces we could see in the next affairs include Stephen Welsh (Celtic), Lewis Moore and Andrew Irving (Hearts), Jamie Gullan (Hibs), Lewis Mayo (Rangers), and Louis Appere (Dundee United).
There is much to be excited for when football returns to action
Scotland U21 had a disappointing qualifying campaign in the previous term when they finished the group behind England U21, Netherlands U21, and Ukraine U21. They were nowhere near the battle for the top of the standings back then.
They now have a much easier group. They have done well without being prolific in the final third so far. However, if McLennan stays healthy ahead of the decisive affairs, we would not be surprised to see the youth Scots in serious contention for the top spot in the group.