Even at this early stage of the qualification campaign, Scotland's hopes of reaching the 2018 World Cup in Russia are hanging by a thread.
Gordon Strachan's side have picked up just four points from their opening four fixtures in Group F and, as a consequence, Sunday's showdown with Slovenia at Hampden Park is a must-win match for the Scots.
Scotland have won just one of their last seven matches - away from home against Malta in their opening group game - and Strachan's side can be backed at 11/8 (2.38) with Paddy Power to kickstart their qualification campaign with a vital victory from this fixture.
Belief in the camp, though, must have been dented by back-to-back 3-0 defeats against Slovakia and England in their last two Group F outings, while the Scots were held to a dismal draw against Canada - a team ranked 117th in world football - in a warm-up match on Wednesday night.
Slovenia are hoping to be the beneficiaries of the home side's fragile confidence and Srecko Katanec's charges can be backed at 11/5 (3.20) to strengthen their own bid to reach Russia by heaping yet more misery on Strachan's side; Paddy Power offer 2/1 (3.0) that the two teams settle for a share of the spoils.
Scotland have scored in each of their last 11 home matches and the odds compilers offer 11/10 (2.10) that there are goals at both ends in this game, with 13/8 (2.63) that more than two goals are scored.
Slovenia, though, have conceded just one goal in their last six matches, while there have been more than two goals scored in just one of the last 16 fixtures that Katanec's men have fulfilled.
Slovenia have lost just one of their last nine competitive fixtures and, having picked up four points from matches against Slovakia and England respectively, Katanec's team have shown that they are capable of making their mark in Group F.
The visitors, therefore, could well be the value play ahead of Sunday's showdown and the 5/4 (2.25) quote for Slovenia to avoid defeat against Scotland looks like a solid selection for punters.
|Slovenia draw no bet at 5/4 (2.25) for a 2pt stake with Paddy Power|