Scotland return to a major international tournament for the first time in 23 years this summer when they compete at the Euros. Scotland sensationally qualified for the group stage after winning a playoff over Serbia on penalties. The last time they competed in an international tournament was at France ’98 and Scotland betting fans are confident they can cause an upset or two come June.
The Scotland Euro team is packed with high-class pedigree who play their club games across the UK. The majority of this team play for either the two biggest Glasgow clubs in Scotland, or for Premier League sides. The likes of Andrew Robertson, Scott McTominay, Kieran Tierney and John McGinn are Premier League regulars and form the backbone of this side. There are league winners, cup winners and vastly experienced players in the Scotland squad – but none of them have experienced an international tournament on this scale before.
Scotland manager Steve Clarke deploys a 4-3-3 formation that utilises the full-backs during attacks. Robertson and Tierney down the left are their biggest strength, while Callum McGregor is an ever-present in midfield. Che Adams only made his Scotland debut this year but the striker could prove this different in the group stage this summer! McGinn was their top scorer in Euros qualifying with seven goals – and he was in fact the only player to score multiple times during the campaign. It was Norwich’s Kenny McLean who scored the winning penalty in the shoot-out against Serbia that earned Scotland their place at the Euros.
However, amid all the jubilation of reaching the tournament, the reality is that Scotland’s Euros record is poor. The nation has qualified for this tournament just twice: in 1992 and 1996. Their first Euros in Sweden 29 years ago saw them finish third in a group involving CIS, Netherlands and eventual finalists Germany. In 1996 Scotland again finished third in their group, losing out to England and Netherlands.
Glasgow is one of the Euros host cities this summer and that means Scotland will play two of their group games at Hampden Park. They host Czech Republic in their first game on 14 June, as well as Croatia on 22 June.
Of course, plenty of attention will fall on England vs Scotland at Wembley on 18 June. These sides haven’t clashed in a competitive setting since the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, where Leigh Griffiths’ two goals in three minutes earned the Scots a 2-2 draw at Hampden Park. And you have to go back to Euro ’96 and Paul Gascoigne’s heroics for the last, and only, time Scotland faced England at a major tournament.
Heart of Midlothian
Heart of Midlothian
Andrew Robertson (c)
Queens Park Rangers