Georgia vs Scotland Match Analysis & Prediction
16/11/2023 8:00 pm
With their first-placed destiny technically still in their own hands, Scotland’s second-last game of Euro 2024 qualifying sees them travel to Tbilisi for Thursday’s Group A tie with Georgia.
While Steve Clarke’s men will be present at next year’s Finals, Willy Sagnol’s side will have a second bite at the cherry in the playoffs after a tough qualification campaign.
A sombre September extinguished Georgia’s hopes of sneaking into the top two spots in Group A, as following a 2-0 defeat to Scotland in August, the Crusaders conceded a staggering nine goals in back-to-back losses to Spain and Norway.
However, the visit of Thialand for a friendly offered Sagnol’s side a prime opportunity to return to winning ways – which they did with a 8-0 thrashing – before coming under the cosh against Cyprus, who forced Giorgi Mamardashvili into a few first-half saves last month.
However, once Otar Kiteishvili found the back of the net from range, the Georgian floodgates opened, as Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Levan Shengelia and Georges Mikautadze also contributed to the second-half beating in a 4-0 victory, cementing their fourth-placed position in the group.
At the very worst, Georgia will finish second from bottom before seeking a shot at redemption in the playoffs owing to their 2022-23 Nations League success, and they are still capable of usurping Norway – who are three points better off having played a game more – into third position, not that it will make much difference in the grand scheme of things.
It has been just over three years since Georgia’s dreams of a maiden Euros appearance in 2020 were dashed in a 1-0 playoff defeat to North Macedonia, but before the Crusaders have the chance to go one better, they must navigate two final matches against Group A’s top dogs, starting with the visit of Scotland on Thursday.
Despite being given a taste of their own medicine by Spain in their most recent Euro 2024 qualifier – losing 2-0 to La Roja seven months on from their identical success over the 2008 and 2012 European champions – Scotland quickly forgave and forgot as the rooted for Luis de la Fuente’s side to beat Norway.
With Gavi’s goal enough to overcome the Nordic nation, Spain sent both themselves and Scotland through to next year’s tournament in Germany, seeing the latter qualify for the Euros finals for only the fourth time and the second time back-to-back, having also appeared at the 1992 and 1996 events.
However, Scotland’s Group A duties are far from over, as they now prepare for a straight shootout with Spain for the right to enter the draw as group winners, currentl sitting level on points with La Roja but being kept in second position owing to a worse goal difference.
Georgia vs. Scotland Head to head
In the five previous meetings between these two teams, Georgia have claimed two victories while Scotland have won three.
Georgia Team News
All of Georgia’s esteemed names are present in the ranks for November’s fixtures, with Sagnol not calling up a single uncapped player, although he has lost 18-year-old Basel midfielder Gabriel Sigua to injury.
While his switch to Ajax from Metz has not worked out as intended so far, 23-year-old striker Mikautadze is surely primed to partner Napoli wing wizard Kvaratskhelia in the attacking third.
Georgia's Last 5 Matches
Scotland Team News
Scotland captain Andrew Robertson left the pitch with his arm in a makeshift sling in last month’s defeat to Spain, and the Liverpool left-back will miss the remainder of 2023 as he recovers from surgery.
Neither Aaron Hickey nor Kieran Tierney are fit to take part for Scotland this month, while Southampton striker Che Adams has withdrawn with a groin issue, and Lawrence Shankland has been called up to replace him.
Scotland's Last 5 Matches
Georgia vs. Scotland: Odds and Predictions
Double Chance: Scotand or X
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