It’s a no-win match in a must-win situation but do our Scotland vs Russia predictions foresee the Gregor Townsend’s men taking the massive step toward the 2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals?
Scotland must win to leave themselves with an outside chance of making the last eight, knowing they must also beat host nation Japan in their final group match to achieve that target.
After a disappointing 27 – 3 defeat to Ireland in the opening match, the Scots got back on track with a 34 – 0 win over Samoa. But is it enough?
Russia meanwhile conceded 30+ points in their three group games. However, they won many admirers with their attitude and pride.
It won’t be enough to stop Scotland but conceding less than 30 points will be a huge step in rugby’s development on the Steppes.
Check out our Complete 2019/20 Rugby World Cup Guide for the pre-tournament vibe on both nations!
Scotland vs Russia Predictions
Things looked grim for Scotland after Ireland ransacked them in the open game; Gregor Townsend’s squad were embarrassed by their Celtic cousins. The last eight looked a long way off at that point.
Pride was partially restored by the 34 – 0 win over Samoa; four tries and no points conceded was as much as the Scotland coach could hope for.
There’s no doubt Scotland are far superior to Russia but as the USA and Fiji proved recently, that’s no guarantee of victory. Nonetheless, a Scottish defeat would rank as one of the biggest shocks in Rugby World Cup history.
To ease their path to the last eight, Scotland must claim the full five points from this match; anything less leaves them on the cusp of elimination. That said, an Ireland defeat against Samoa opens any doors which slam in the Scots faces.
Russia’s record against Tier 1 nations doesn’t give rise for much hope of an upset. In the five years leading into the World Cup, they faced just one match against one of the Six Nations and lost 85 – 15 to Italy.
Despite losing all three matches here, there are warning signs for the Scots. Kirill Golsnitskiy scored the opening try of the finals and starred for the Russians; he is their best hope of scoring and a huge doubt for this fixture.
However, there are opportunities for Scotland to exploit. Russia’s midfield, for example, missed 35 tackles in the previous two matches. Spaces behind that trio will give the Scots plenty of scoring chances.
More worryingly, the underdogs gave up 19 clean breaks for their opposing wings, as well as allowing opponents to ride 44 tackles. That ill-discipline saw them concede 10 penalties against the Irish; can Scotland’s pack exert the same dominance?
Scotland vs Russia Head to Head
Russia’s lowly status in world rugby means this is the first time the two nations have met in an official test match.
The Bears faced a Scotland A side in Bucharest during 2009, losing 49 – 7.
Scotland Team News
Townsend is making full use of his squad, making 14 changes to his starting XV from the one which beat Samoa.
Despite this, it doesn’t affect our Scotland vs Russia predictions. The Scots are good enough not only to win but also claim a bonus point.
Scotland confirmed XV:
Blair Kinghorn, Tommy Seymour, Duncan Taylor, Peter Horne, Darcy Graham, Adam Hastings, George Horne; Gordon Reid, George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Ben Toolis, John Barclay (capt), Fraser Brown, Ryan Wilson.
Stuart McInally, Simon Berghan, Willem Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Magnus Bradbury, Jamie Ritchie, Henry Pyrgos, Chris Harris.
Russia Team News
Russia head coach Lyn Jones also named his XV and replacements.
Russia confirmed XV:
Vasily Artemyev (capt), German Davydov, Vladimir Ostroushko, Dimitry Gerasimov, Vladislav Sozonov, Ramil Gaisin, Dmitry Perov; Valery Morozov, Stanislav Selskii. Kirill Gotovtsev, Andrey Ostrikov, Evgeny Elgin, Vitaly Zhivatov, Tagir Gadzhiev, Nikita Vavilin.
Sergey Chernyshev, Azamat Bitiev, Vladimir Podrezov, Bogdan Fedotko, Andrey Garbuzov, Sergey Ianiushkin, Anton Sychev, Yury Kushnarev.
Scotland vs Russia Betting Tips
Scotland are overwhelming favourite at 1/100 in Novibet’s match odds. Russia’s slim chances are measured at 31/2 with the draw an even more unlikely 45/1.
There are a limited number of markets available for the game but anything which sees the Scots win by 30+ points is worth following. Novibet Match Handicap is -32.5 points with Scotland (-32.5) at 17/20.
The final markets are points Odd-Even; the match to finish with an even number of points is 17/20 although the same outcome at half-time is 4/5.
This is definitely a match where accas offer the best value for money.