Football Bet of the Day: Scotland to triumph in final friendly vs Pukki-inspired Finland

 | Thursday 6th June 2024, 10:00am

Thursday 6th June 2024, 10:00am

hampden park glasgow scotland scaled

It's not often that a 2-0 victory is looked on in disappointment, but that was the case on Monday as Scotland limped to a win against international football minnows Gibraltar.

Despite that poor showing, I'm backing the Tartan Army to come good in my football bet of the day for Friday, June 7, although it won't be straightforward against a Finland side that flustered Portugal in a 4-2 defeat on Tuesday.

Football Bet of the Day - Friday, June 7

  • Scotland to beat Finland & both teams to score @ 3/1

It took the best part of an hour on Monday for Scotland to find a way past a Gibraltar defence that had been breached within the first 10 minutes of their final three Euro 2024 qualifiers, defeats to the Netherlands (0-6), France (0-14) and the Republic of Ireland (0-4).

After Ryan Christie's 58th-minute opener, the Tartan Army only managed one further goal via Che Adams 27 minutes later. It wasn't the morale-boosting victory Steve Clarke was craving, and probably expected given the level of the opposition. Four-plus goals would've been the minimum before the game, but Scotland toiled at the Estadio Algarve.

The result did break them out of a seven-game winless run stretching back to September 12, with their previous victory coming against Cyprus (3-0) three days earlier. That win in Larnaca was a fifth-straight triumph for Steve Clarke's side, all of which came in Euro 2024 qualifiers, with the highlight being a 2-0 victory over Spain at Hampden Park.

Clarke needs to revive the form that set them on their way to a comfortable second-place finish in Group A, and fast, with their opening game against the hosts in Germany just over a week away on Friday, June 14.

They should have a decent chance to do that against Finland, who have lost five of their last eight games, beating only Estonia (2-1), San Marino (2-1) and Northern Ireland (4-0) in that period.

Finland (61) are ranked 22 places below Scotland (39) in the FIFA rankings and have lost all four previous head-to-heads, though the last of those came in 1995.

Football Bet of the Day Friday June 7 2024 - Scotland to beat Finland & both teams to score @ 3-1

The current crop of players features the likes of Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper and captain Lukas Hradecky and Minnesota United striker Teemu Pukki. It's by no means their 'Golden Generation', which probably came at the start of the century with Sami Hyypia and Jari Litmanen in their pomp, but they did qualify for the previous Euros and are no minnows on the international stage.

Defence has been an issue recently with just one clean sheet in their last eight games, but they've only failed to score on two separate occasions in 13 played since March 2023.

The Eagles-Owls have found the net at least once in each of their last six internationals, scoring 13 times in that run, including two against Portugal on Tuesday night.

A Seleção das Quinas were comfortable for the most part, heading into half-time in Lisbon with a two-goal lead thanks to strikes from Ruben Dias and Diogo Jota. Bruno Fernandes added a third for Portugal in the 55th minute and it looked like the hosts were about to cruise to an easy win at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

However, Finland's record men's goalscorer Pukki, who has struck 42 times for his nation as a senior international, was introduced as a 65th-minute substitute and took just eight minutes to get himself on the scoresheet.

The 34-year-old notched another four minutes later, and Portugal were suddenly fearing for the win before Fernandes put the game beyond the Finns in the 84th minute.

Pukki's goals proved to be in vain, but they should serve as a reminder to Scotland not to take them too lightly on Friday.

Ultimately, I think the Scots will be fighting tooth and nail to produce a performance befitting of a Euro 2024 side, giving their supporters something to celebrate at home before departing for Germany.

I expect the hosts to win, but Finland will be looking to extend their scoring streak to seven games, and with Pukki likely to start, they should be confident of doing so and at least netting a consolation in Glasgow.

Friday: Place an In-Play bet of £10 or more odds of 1/2+ on England v Iceland or Scotland v Finland on Friday and get £5 in Free Bets to use In-Play on Saturday's Football matches.

Betfred are running their famed Double Delight & Hat-trick Heaven offer on this match, meaning that if a player scores first and then nets again, you will be paid at double the odds. If he grabs a hat-trick, you will be paid at treble the odds!

You can read all our latest Football Bets of the Day at our dedicated Betfred Insights content hub.

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