Scotland suffered a humiliating 3-0 capitulation in Kazakhstan in their opening game of the campaign and an uninspiring 2-0 win against San Marino three days later was not enough to pull former boss Alex McLeish from the firing line.
As such, it is former Kilmarnock manager, Clarke, who will take charge of the Scots for Saturday's crucial contest with the Cypriots.
As a result of that calamity in Kazakhstan, Scotland have no room for error in Group I. Clarke's charges are chalked up as 1/2 (1.50) favourites with bet365 to pick up all three points in Glasgow. Anything less than victory would be disastrous for the hosts.
Liam Kelly, Michael Devlin, Stuart Findlay, Greg Taylor and Eamonn Brophy are the uncapped quintet in Clarke's first squad. Andy Robertson, fresh from playing his part in Liverpool's Champions League final victory last weekend, should skipper the Scots.
Scotland have kept a clean sheet in six of their last seven home victories, whilst Cyprus have lost 12 of their last 14 matches away from home. Indeed, their only win during that sequence came in a 2-1 victory against Gibraltar.
Scotland have rarely been in free-scoring form in front of their own supporters in recent years. Indeed, the Scots have struck more than two goals just once in their last 14 home matches.
Furthermore, the way in which Scotland laboured to a 2-0 win against San Marino last time out barely inspires confidence. With Cyprus likely to try to keep things tight, it could be another nervy night for Scottish supporters.
Indeed, patience may prove pivotal for the Scots. No fewer than 11 of Scotland's last 15 goals at Hampden have come after the break and the 6/4 (2.50) quote from bet365 for the first half to remain goalless could prove popular.
Goals could prove to be at something of a premium this weekend; Scotland have stuttered so far in Group I and that is likely to add to the hosts' jitters in Glasgow. Cyprus, too, could provide stubborn opposition.
Ben's men have seen fewer than three goals scored in four of their last five fixtures, with the exception a 5-0 win for the Cypriots against San Marino in their Group I curtain-raiser.
Furthermore, Cyprus managed to restrict Belgium to just two goals in Nicosia last time out. The 7/4 (2.75) quote from bet365 for fewer than two goals to be scored could see punters profit on Saturday night.
Odds correct at time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.