Lack of firepower could come back to bite Scots
EURO 2020 GROUP D
SCOTLAND have had a miserable time since appearing at World Cup 1998 and are getting ready to compete in their first Euros since 1996, when they were also drawn in the same section as England. In just two previous appearances at European Championship finals, they have never got past the first round, although they took four points at Euro 96 and finished below defending champions Netherlands on goal scored. Reaching the finals is an achievement in itself for the Scots, who won penalty shootouts in both of their playoff ties. They would love the chance to show off their spot-kick prowess in this summer’s knockout stages and their chances of making an impact are increased by home advantage against Czech Republic and Croatia. The Wembley encounter with England is the one that most Scottish fans will be looking forward to and it might be more of an even contest than the markets anticipate. However, the key for Scotland to do well at Euro 2020 will be not to get too fixated on the England contest. Their opener against the Czechs stands out as a game they dare not lose, paving the way for them to have at least something riding on the clash with Croatia. Clarke played to Scotland’s strengths in qualifying by settling on a three-man defensive line which minimises the lack of quality wingers at his disposal and provides a framework to shoehorn talented left-backs Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson into the same team. Scotland’s midfield is also a strong suit with Scott Mctominay, John Mcginn and Stuart Armstrong offering plenty of Premier League quality, but there is a lack of firepower and one of the attackers will need to make a name for himself if the Scots are to avoid another early exit.