Everything you need to know about Scotland before the Euros
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Everything you need to know about Scotland before the Euros

10/06/24 12:40

It’s The Tartan Army’s fourth appearance at the European Championships as they head to Germany this summer. You may remember the famous 1970’s Disco classic; Yes Sir, I can boogie becoming the official theme song as they qualified for their last Euros against Serbia back in 2020.

This summer’s tournament appearance will make it back to back appearances at the Euros for the first time since 1996. Manager Steve Clarke will be hoping to take things a step further and be the first to lead his team into the knockout stages. The Scots certainly have been boogying, impressing in the qualifying stages overcoming Erling Haaland’s Norway to finish second in their group. Even beating Spain at Hampden which sparked a viral reaction from Premier League winner and Spanish captain Rodri, saying after the game “For me, this is not football.” Scottish fans may argue Scott McTominay’s brace says different.

Full Squad

Goalkeepers: Zander Clark (Hearts), Angus Gunn (Norwich City) and Liam Kelly (Motherwell).

Defenders: Liam Cooper (Leeds United), Grant Hanley (Norwich City), Jack Hendry (Al-Ettifaq), Ross McCrorie (Bristol City), Scott McKenna (Copenhagen), Ryan Porteous (Watford), Anthony Ralston (Celtic), Andy Robertson (Liverpool) and Greg Taylor (Celtic) and Kieran Tierney (Real Sociedad).

Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Ryan Christie (Bournemouth), Billy Gilmour (Brighton), Ryan Jack (free agent), Kenny McLean (Norwich City), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Callum McGregor (Celtic) and Scott McTominay (Manchester United).

Forwards: Che Adams (Southampton), Tommy Conway (Bristol City), James Forrest (Celtic), Lewis Morgan (New York Red Bulls) and Lawrence Shankland (Hearts).

The last Euros was Scotland’s comeback to international football, with their last appearance at a major tournament being the 1998 World Cup. Captain Andy Robertson is joined by a host of Premier League talent including Billy Gilmour, John McGinn and McTominay. Despite looking strong, key players such as Lewis Ferguson, Ben Doak, Aaron Hickey, Nathan Patterson and Lyndon Dykes all miss out through injury. Dykes played in every qualifier, and Ferguson has had an outstanding season in Italy for high-flying Bologna.

Clarke has experimented with a few formations, but 3-4-2-1 seems to be his preferred set-up. Scotland are blessed with some rare depth in the midfield and full-back areas, so this is a system that maximises the quality there, but also allows them to morph into a 5-4-1 when coming under pressure against higher-quality opposition.

Group and Schedule

Scotland find themselves in Group A with Hungary, Switzerland and Germany. They kick off their campaign in the inaugural game of the tournament, facing hosts Germany at the Allianz Arena on June 14th (20:00 BST). Followed by Wednesday 19th June: Scotland vs Switzerland (20:00 BST). Sunday 23rd June: Scotland vs Hungary (20:00 BST).

If Scotland were to finish top, they will face the runner up of Group C which could be old-time rivals England. Despite the potential of excitement, Germany and England are favourites to win their prospective groups.

Player to Watch

Scott McTominay. No surprises here, the Manchester United midfielder scored the seven goals in qualifiers that propelled them to the tournament. Three against Cyprus, and two against Spain and Georgia placed him fifth in the top scorers list. Outscoring Haaland, Lewandowski and a whole host of attacking talent.

The Scotsman also has ten goals for United this season, and could perhaps be the most rogue shout for the tournament golden boot in recent history. He was recently named Scotland’s 2023 player of the year and could be the difference maker in Germany.

Prediction

Despite having never made it past the group stage, this could be Scotland’s best chance yet despite injuries. Steve Clarke is an excellent manager, and despite not being likely to finish above Germany they could outqualify Hungary and Switzerland to finish second in the group. However, if they were to finish runners up a match up against Spain, Italy or Croatia awaits. This is a match up where I expect them to fall, but making it out of the groups would be an excellent achievement and a step forward for Scottish football as a whole.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Patrick McGahren

Writer

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