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Scotland: The Ultimate Euro 2020 Preview

Back on the international stage after 23 years of hurt, Scotland will be sure to leave everything on the pitch this summer.

With just two losses in their last 16 games, Scotland arrive at Euro 2020 confident of surpassing expectations and reaching the knockout stages, having claimed an impressive draw against the Netherlands in their first warmup friendly.

Group D: England, Croatia, SCOTLAND, Czech Republic

Captain: Andy Robertson

Head Coach: Steve Clarke

FIFA Ranking: 44

Best Finish: Group stage – 1992 & 1996

Fixtures:

SCOTLAND v Czech Republic – 14 June, 14:00 (BST). Hampden Park, Glasgow, UK

England v SCOTLAND – 18 June, 20:00 (BST). Wembley Stadium, London, UK

Croatia v SCOTLAND – 22 June, 20:00 (BST). Hampden Park, Glasgow, UK

Qualification

Rollercoaster doesn’t even begin to describe Scotland’s qualification for Euro 2020. The Tartan Terriers were humiliated 3-0 by Kazakhstan in the opening game and lost all four of their meetings with Russia and Belgium, but entered the playoffs by virtue of their performance in the Nations League.

Entering the play-offs in patch C, Steve Clarke’s side edged a tense clash with Israel on penalties to set up a winner-takes-all meeting with Serbia. Despite suffering a 90th-minute equaliser to break Scottish hearts, Scotland held their nerve to win on penalties once again, sending their fans into raptures as they ended a 23-year run without an appearance at a major tournament.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon (Hearts), David Marshall (Derby), Jon McLaughlin (Rangers)

Defenders: Liam Cooper (Leeds), Declan Gallagher (Motherwell), Grant Hanley (Norwich), Jack Hendry (Celtic), Scott McKenna (Nottingham Forest), Stephen O’Donnell (Motherwell), Nathan Patterson (Rangers), Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Greg Taylor (Celtic), Kieran Tierney (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Ryan Christie (Celtic), John Fleck (Sheffield United), James Forrest (Celtic), Ryan Fraser (Newcastle United), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Scott McTominay (Manchester United), David Turnbull (Celtic)

Forwards: Ché Adams (Southampton), Lyndon Dykes (QPR), Kevin Nisbet (Hibernian)

Source: UEFA.com

Danger Man – Che Adams

Cleared to play for Scotland earlier this year through a grandparent, Southampton striker has settled into international football seamlessly. With two goals from four appearances so far, Adams could be the missing piece of a puzzle that has slowly come together at the right time.

Likely to start with or behind the tireless but often wasteful Lyndon Dykes, Adams could be Scotland’s main source of goals in a potentially record-breaking summer for the Tartan Army.

One to Watch – Billy Gilmour

Having made an instant impact at Chelsea when he broke into the first team, injury and other factors have meant that 20-year-old Billy Gilmour has had to wait until 2021 to make his first senior appearance for Scotland.

Though he faces competition from the likes of Scott McTominay, John McGinn and John Fleck among others, Gilmour offers something different in the centre of midfield, a calmness in possession that will prove invaluable against the top teams this summer.

A top showing at Euro 2020 will give Thomas Tuchel a serious headache ahead of next season, with Gilmour set to compete with the likes of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, Mason Mount and potentially a horde of returning loanees for a spot in the middle of the park.

Premier League Representation

10 members of Scotland’s squad appeared in the 2020/21 Premier League season – Andrew Robertson, Scott McTominay, Kieran Tierney, John McGinn, Che Adams, John Fleck, Liam Cooper, Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Fraser and Billy Gilmour.

Elsewhere, defender Grant Hanley will feature in the Premier League in 2021/22, having won promotion with Norwich City.

Route to the Final

  1. If Scotland top the group, they will play the team that finish second in Group F (Hungary, Portugal, France, Germany)
  2. If Scotland finish second, they will face the team that finish second in Group E (Spain, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia)
  3. If they finish as one of the four best third-place teams, they will play the winner of either Group B, C or E.

After the second round, the draw will depend on which third-place teams qualified for the knockout stages.

Stats

  • Only 11 members of Scotland’s squad have scored an international goal
  • Scotland have never played a knockout tie in a major tournament
  • Of the individuals to have managed Scotland for 20 games or more, only four have a better win percentage than Steve Clarke’s 42.86%

Sam Hanys

A miserable Ipswich Town fan.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L P
1 Arsenal 0 0 0 0 0
2 Aston Villa 0 0 0 0 0
3 Brentford 0 0 0 0 0
4 Brighton & Hov… 0 0 0 0 0
5 Burnley 0 0 0 0 0
6 Chelsea 0 0 0 0 0
7 Crystal Palace 0 0 0 0 0
8 Everton 0 0 0 0 0
9 Leeds United 0 0 0 0 0
10 Leicester City 0 0 0 0 0
11 Liverpool 0 0 0 0 0
12 Manchester City 0 0 0 0 0
13 Manchester United 0 0 0 0 0
14 Newcastle United 0 0 0 0 0
15 Norwich City 0 0 0 0 0
16 Southampton 0 0 0 0 0
17 Tottenham Hotspur 0 0 0 0 0
18 Watford 0 0 0 0 0
19 West Ham United 0 0 0 0 0
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 0 0 0 0

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