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Poland v Scotland: Strachan’s side about to receive wake-up call

| 05.03.2014

Resurgent Scotland travel to Warsaw five matches unbeaten and 36 places above opponents Poland in the FIFA World Rankings but Gordon Strachan’s side are about to be given a rude awakening by their stubborn hosts.

The Poles are incredibly difficult to beat on their own patch, losing just three of their previous 21 home matches in all competitions.

Adam Nawalka’s charges are the 6/5 favourites for victory, with Scotland available at 5/2 and the draw 11/5 with Ladbrokes.

The hosts’ new coach will be without a few of his recognised stars, including Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski for this pre-cursor to the pair’s upcoming meetings in Euro 2016 qualifying.

But that might not matter given the emerging talent he has at his disposal. Lech Poznan forward Luke Teodorczyk may be called upon having netted three times in five internationals with the 22-year-old and Augsburg’s on-loan hitman Arkadiusz Milik both available at 11/2 to score first.

Milik to find the back of the net and Poland to win the game also stands out at 5/2 in a match where Nawalka’s youngsters can take centre stage.

Meanwhile, more experienced midfielder Ludovic Obraniak is another appealing option. The Werder Bremen player is a 7/1 shout to open the scoring having recently netted a delightful late equaliser for his club side against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

And it could be a difficult night for the Scots if Poland’s current crop can spark into life. Victory here would be their 11th in their previous 15 home friendlies, however don’t expect Strachan’s Tartan Army to lie down without a fight given the fact they’re on a five-match unbeaten run.

The wily former Celtic manager has already transformed his side into a resilient unit, one that will be further enhanced by the return of Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher.

The 30-year-old makes his first appearance in the national team set-up since 2012 and he’s 25/1 to net first and cap a remarkable comeback from a chronic bowel condition.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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William Geldart

William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.