SCOTLAND have got off to a stuttering start in their European Championship qualifying campaign and three points at home to Cyprus are a must if they are to have a realistic chance of making the finals (Sky Sports Football, Saturday 7.45pm).

The Scots are 8/15 to convert what ought to be a straightforward opportunity into three points, a draw is 13/4 (Unibet) and Cyprus 15/2 (Betfair Sportsbook). The match is evenly balanced if Cyprus are given a goal start: Scotland -1 is 13/8 (Spreadex), Cyprus +1 7/4 (Paddy Power) and a tie 12/5 (Unibet). Over 2.5 goals is 5/4 (Betvictor); under 4/6.

The leading players in the first goalscorer market are as follows: Eamonn Brophy 17/4, Marc McNulty 17/4 (both prices Betway), Johnny Russell 11/2 (Boylesports), James Forrest and Oliver Burke 6/1, Ryan Fraser 8/1 and Stuart Armstrong and Lewis Morgan both 9/1 (Boylesports). Pieros Sotiriou at 10/1 and Nestoras Mytidis 14/1 are the most prominent Cypriot players.

Nothing is cast iron with Scotland but under the new stewardship of Steve Clarke they can claim the spoils.

Prediction: Scotland 2 Cyprus 0.

Three other Home Nation countries are involved in European qualifiers this weekend. Republic of Ireland travel to Denmark tomorrow (Friday night, Sky Sports Football, 7.45pm) but their chances of success are given short shrift by the bookmakers. Denmark are 8/13 (Betfair Sportsbook), a draw 11/4 and Eire 6/1.

Wales also have a daunting trip as they visit Croatia on Saturday (Sky Sports Football, 2pm). Croatia are 8/13 (Boylesports), a draw 3/1 (Ladbrokes/Unibet) and Wales 11/2.

Northern Ireland have by far the easiest game as a trip to Estonia awaits them (Sky Sports Football, Saturday 5pm). Norn Iron are evens (Coral), a draw 11/5 and Estonia 18/5 (Unibet).

Predictions: Denmark 2 Republic of Ireland 1; Croatia 2 Wales 1; Estonia 0 Northern Ireland 1.

Portugal hosts the semi-finals of the Nations League and England play Netherlands tonight (Thursday, Sky Sports Football, 7.45pm). England are 31/20 (Bet365), Netherlands 21/10 (Betfred/Betway) while a stalemate is 23/10 (Unibet/Bet365).

This ought to be close but England’s superior form in recent years gives them the edge.

Prediction: England 2 Netherlands 1.

At the time of writing, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are through to meet one another in the semi-finals of the French Open. Nadal is 8/13 to win the tournament, while Novac Djokovic is 14/5. The Fed Express is a 16/1 chance. Nadal is 2/15 (Betfair Sportsbook) and Federer 6/1 in their clash tomorrow, while a straight-sets victory for the Spaniard is at 10/11.

Marketa Vondrousova and Johanna Konta could be backed at 66/1 and 150/1 respectively pre-tournament to win the ladies' title. However, since they meet in the semi-finals today, one of them will reward each-way support at worst. Konta is 4/5 and Vondrousova 11/10 in a match the layers predict will be close.