Scotland will look to keep up their recent good form with a

Scotland will look to keep up their recent good form with a

Postautor: jokergreen0220 » 14 lut 2017, o 08:39

Scotland will look to keep up their recent good form with a double-header against two of the favourites for Euro 2016, starting with Italy on Sunday. . Despite a disappointing qualifying campaign which saw them finish fourth in their group, Gordon Strachans side are seen as good warm-up opposition for some of the sides who will be in France.That sees them face incoming Chelsea manager Antonio Contes side in Malta before a meeting with the European Championship hosts in Metz next Saturday. The games in the next few days will be the Scots first against the Italians and French since both only just prevented them from reaching the 2008 tournament.As Strachan and his players seek some kind of retribution, they will do so coming off the back of three consecutive wins over Gibraltar and, more recently, the Czech Republic and Denmark.Scotlands assistant manager, Motherwell boss Mark McGhee, said: I hope the motivation is that they want to play against these good teams again regularly. Mark McGhee wants Scotlands players to be motivated by facing big-name sides ahead of the World Cup qualifiers I think it will be when they sit down to watch the Euros themselves and that will make them even more determined to be part of it next time.We have no control over what the Italians will do or what side they will pick - but they could pick any 11 from the squad they have and I think it will be a fairly robust challenge for us.Team newsWith the season ending and no competitive games internationally until the World Cup qualifiers begin in September, it is perhaps not surprising the Scots have been hit with withdrawals.Rangers defender Lee Wallace is among the latest to pull out along with Derbys Chris Martin and Aston Villa right-back Alan Hutton. Lee Wallace is out of the squad but his Rangers team-mate Barrie McKay (above) remains involved Wallaces Ibrox team-mate Barrie McKay remains in the group, however, and is expected to make his first senior appearance for his country over the coming days.Goalkeepers Allan McGregor and Scott Bain are both missing with back injuries so Scott Fox and Jack Hamilton have been selected as replacements.Swanseas Stephen Kingsley and Derby midfielder Craig Bryson are also in but Andy Robertson, Robert Snodgrass, Shaun Maloney and Barry Bannan all miss out.Each of them will be at Wembley for the Championship play-off final between Hull and Sheffield Wednesday but they will join Scotland at their Maltese training camp ahead of the France match. Swanseas Stephen Kingsley has been called into the group after a number of withdrawals Opta statsScotland have only beaten Italy once in their history, winning 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier in November 1965 (D2 L7).The last meeting between the teams came in November 2007, when Italy ended Scotlands Euro 2008 qualifying hopes in a 2-1 victory through a 90th-minute winner from Christian Panucci.Gordon Strachan has lost just one of his last nine friendlies as Scotland manager (W6 D2). Antonio Conte will take charge of Chelsea after he takes Italy to Euro 2016 in France The only Scottish player to score in an away from home against Italy is Kevin Gallacher, back in October 1993.The Tartan Army are looking to keep three successive clean sheets away from home for the first time since September 2007.Italy havent won any of their last four internationals since qualifying for Euro 2016 (D2 L2).Italys last eight international goals have all been scored by different players, with only one of those goals coming in the first half.Graziano Pelle has scored more goals than any other Italian player during Antonio Contes reign (four). Graziano Pelle has scored more goals for Italy than any other player during Contes reign as manager BettingScotland go up against odds of 17/4 to secure the victory on Sunday evening as Sky Bet rate Italy 4/6 favourites, while the draw priced at 13/5.The Italians are, however, up against odds of 16/1 to win Euro 2016 while Scotland are given a 4/1 chance of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup after failing to book their place in this summers finals.Southamptons Pelle is rated Italys main threat at 9/2 to net first, while Steven Fletcher heads the betting from Scotlands side of the first goalscorer betting at 8/1.Follow Italy v Scotland with our live blog on and the Sky Sports apps. .“I always did my stuff ahead of the deadline. The best deal Ive ever done was the Darryl Sydor deal. We did that at the end of January in 04, and Syd was the missing piece. . As for regular Olympic spectators, theyre being warned that most travel insurance policies wont cover acts of terrorism or war. The Games in southern Russia, which run from Feb. 7-23, are being staged amid unprecedented security and under global warnings of danger. . -- Nelson Cruz has only two hits in 15 at-bats against the Kansas City Royals this season.HAMILTON, Ont. -- Dan LeFevour stole the spotlight from Henry Burris on Saturday night. LeFevour threw for 361 yards and a touchdown and rushed for a game-high 109 yards and a TD in his first CFL start, leading the Hamilton Tiger-Cats past the Ottawa Redblacks 33-23. Burris was making his first appearance in Hamilton since being released by the club in January after it signed Zach Collaros as a free agent. Burris served as the Ticats starter for two seasons and led the squad to a Grey Cup appearance last year while also tutoring LeFevour. Although LeFevour spoiled Burriss return, LeFevour downplayed any suggestion the game was about the quarterbacks. "It had nothing to do with him," LeFevour said. "It was just good to see him. "I talked to him during the week and after the game . . . he was encouraging me. Hes a great guy, he really is." LeFevour, 27, was an impressive dual threat for Hamilton (1-3). He completed 21-of-30 passes while also running 13 times, his one-yard TD at 9:44 of the fourth snapping a 23-23 tie. The big play was LeFevour hitting C.J. Gable on an 83-yard screen pass that, with a horse-tackle penalty, put the Ticats at the Ottawa one-yard line to the delight of the Ron Joyce Stadium sellout of 6,500. "You saw what a competitor he is," Hamilton coach/GM Kent Austin said. "Real strong will to win, threw the ball well. "Early on he pulled the ball down a little too soon but finally settled in and let the game come to him some more. He just really had a command of the offence." For the first time this season, Gable was a key figure in Hamiltons offence. The speedy running back ran six times for 62 yards and a TD while adding three catches for a team-high 105 yards as the Ticats rolled up 558 total offensive yards. Burris, 39, finished 27-of-44 passing for 290 yards and two TDs and an interception while throwing his first interception of the season. Ottawa (1-3) pulled into a 23-23 tie on Brett Mahers 23-yard field goal at 4:41 of the fourth. "He did a good job," Burris said of LeFevour. "He ran the offence, got the ball to his playmakers and made some plays. "Im proud of him. I just wish he wouldve saved that for another night but kudos to him." Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell said LeFevours legs were key to Hamiltons victory. "Hes a runner, if you give him escape lanes he makes you pay," Campbell said. "We were trying to get him to hold the ball, which he did a couple of times, but he made some plays with his feet . . . then we gave up some huge plays. "Him and Gable, theyre good athletes and youve got to be right on those guys because they make big plays. quot; The Redblacks were coming off their first-ever win, an 18-17 home decision against Toronto last week, and Marcus Henry certainly did his part with 10 catches for 138 yards and a TD. But Burris said his club hurt itself against the Ticats. "We found ways to hurt ourselves," he said. "We had more opportunities to put more points on the board. "This was one of those matches where the last offence that had the ball was going to win the game. Hamilton did a good job of making big plays, we didnt make enough big plays. We cant be shooting ourselves in the foot in those key situations." The game was the Ticats home opener and their first in Hamilton in 21 months as last years home contests were played at the University of Guelph while Tim Hortons Field was being built. Saturdays contest was supposed to open Tim Hortons Field but construction delays will force the team to play at least its first two home games at McMaster. Hamilton hosts the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Thursday night. Brandon Banks had Hamiltons other touchdown. Medlock added the converts and four field goals. Matt Carter scored Ottawas other touchdown. Maher had the converts and three field goals. Medlocks 36-yard field goal capped an entertaining first half and earned Hamilton a 20-17 advantage. It was set up by Craig Butlers interception that put the Ticats at their own 45-yard line. The contest began at a fever pitch with TDs on the first three possessions. Banks took LeFevours shovel pass 53 yards for the score on the second play from scrimmage just 58 seconds in before Burris countered with a smart 13-play, 96-yard march he capped with a 10-yard TD toss to Carter at 7:35. But Gables 47-yard touchdown run on the Ticats fifth offensive play at 9:29 put them ahead 14-7 as they opened by gaining 158 yards on their first five plays. NOTES -- LeFevour became the Ticats third different starter this year after Collaros (head injury) and Jeremiah Masoli started the earlier contests . . . Saturdays game was the first between Hamilton and Ottawa since Oct. 21, 2005 when the Ticats downed the former Renegades 40-32 . . . Ottawa entered weekend action tied atop the East Division with Toronto and Montreal. The last time an Ottawa club was first in the East was Aug. 19, 2005 when the Renegades were 5-3 but they lost their next six games to fall from playoff contention . . . Ottawas scratches were defensive lineman Nigel Romick and tackle Nate Menkin while Hamilton`s were receiver Greg Ellingson and defensive lineman Arnaud Gascon-Nadon. 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