Mo­rav­cik makes Scots his pre-match favourites

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - SPORT -

For­mer Slo­vakia and Celtic favourite Lubomir Mo­rav­cik has tipped Scot­land as favourites when the two sides meet at Ham­p­den this week.

Gor­don Strachan’s men face two must-win matches as they seek to qual­ify for the 2018 World Cup.

Vic­to­ries against Slo­vakia and Slove­nia would se­cure a sec­ond-placed fin­ish in World Cup qual­i­fy­ing Group F, with the two sides both ahead of Scot­land in the ta­ble.

A point at Ham­p­den on Thurs­day would al­most cer­tainly be enough to guar­an­tee Slo­vakia sec­ond place ahead of their game against Malta next week but Mo­rav­cik, who played for Celtic be­tween 1998 and 2002, thinks home ad­van­tage will play a big part, al­though con­ceded his coun­try is still more likely to progress.

He said: “Slo­vakia are in the best po­si­tion be­cause Slove­nia go to Eng­land and that is hard for them but Scot­land also must go to Slove­nia and win.

“It’s still hard but the most im­por­tant game is Thurs­day against Slo­vakia.

“I didn’t see Scot­land play in their last two games but they are the slight favourites in this game be­cause they play at home.

“I know in Scot­land the sup­port­ers are very im­por­tant.”

Slo­vakia im­pressed at Wem­b­ley against Eng­land last time out, tak­ing an early lead through Stanislav Lobotka be­fore go­ing on to lose 2-1 to offer Scot­land hope of catch­ing them.

How­ever, that pos­i­tive ap­proach is some­thing Mo­rav­cik be­lieves Jan Kozak’s play­ers have to main­tain if they are to get a re­sult at Ham­p­den.

He said: “The most likely re­sult will be the draw.

“What I said about the sup­port­ers is an ad­van­tage for Scot­land in this game but Slo­vakia won’t come to only de­fend.

“They played well against Eng­land, who are a very strong team, and in the first 20 minutes they kept the ball and scored a goal and I think that is the way to play against Scot­land.”

Lubo Mo­rav­cik: Sup­port will be im­por­tant

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