Scotland no longer have a chance of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil so the qualifier against Croatia in Zagreb is something of a dead rubber for Gordon Strachan’s men who will be looking to restore some pride and build towards the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
For the hosts however, it’s a crucial contest at the summit of Group A, as they jostle for top spot with Belgium and subsequently you have to think the depleted Scots are up against it a touch in the Stadion Maksimir.
Strachan’s troops are 21/2 with BetVictor to manage their first win in qualifying while Croatia are just 4/11 (William Hilll) to pick up what for them is a vital three points and it’s 4/1 via bet365 to finish all square.
Ultimately however, in the circumstances, Igor Stimac’s side are hard to oppose and they’re decent value at 17/20 courtesy of Ladbrokes to prevail ‘to nil’. Alternatively, they’re an equally generous evens in Stan James’s handicaps when kicking off a goal in arrears and BetVictor price them at 5/1 to notch twice without reply.
Having played for Rangers for a couple of years Nikica Jelavic has plenty of experience of Scottish defences so might attract cash at 11/2 with Paddy Power to break the deadlock.
Jelavic has endured a tough campaign at Everton though and is far from guaranteed a start here so a better bet in that market is Ladbrokes’ 4/1 shot Mario Mandzukic, brimming with confidence following a successful first season at Bayern Munich in which he opened the scoring in the Champions League final.