Scotland prepare for ‘all or nothing’ clash with Croatia

Steve Clarke and his players can make history by reaching the knockout stages of Euro 2020.

Scotland prepare for ‘all or nothing’ clash with Croatia SNS Group

Scotland take on Croatia at Hampden on Tuesday knowing that a victory will put the team in the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time in their history.

Victory against the World Cup finalists would ensure at least a third place finish in Group D and a guarantee of progressing as one of the four best third-placed sides in the competition.

Depending on the result of the game between England and Czech Republic, Scotland could even finish second if they win and score at least two goals.

Though the men’s team has been at eight World Cup finals and is now competing in their third European Championship, the side has never advanced from the group stages.

A second place finish would mean Scotland would face the runners up from Group E in Copenhagen in the round of 16, while finishing third would mean a match against Netherlands in Budapest or the winners of Group E at Hampden, with the opposition only confirmed when all group games have been completed.

Steve Clarke says the team will need the Tartan Army’s full backing. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke believes his side are underdogs for the clash at the national stadium, up against a team that was runner-up at World Cup 2018. Around 12,000 fans will be at Hampden for the game and Clarke has called on the Tartan Army to make their backing known throughout to help spur the team on to success.

“If they can make half the noise that the 3,000 supporters did at Wembley then it will be a great atmosphere,” he said.

“What I would say to the Tartan Army is we need your backing from the first minute to the 95th minute. We need you all the way.

“Sometimes in a game things go against you, that’s when you need the crowd more than anything. So hopefully they will get behind us from the first to the last minute.

“And hopefully everybody leaves the stadium with a big smile on their face.”

The squad was dealt a blow the day before the definitive match when it was revealed that Billy Gilmour had tested positive for Covid-19 just days after a man of the match performance against England on his first international start. While the Chelsea youngster self-isolates, the rest of the squad have all returned negative tests and have travelled to Glasgow from their training base in Darlington.

Clarke admitted that Gilmour had been in his planned starting line-up but said that his absence opened up an opportunity for someone to step in and become a “hero”.

The manager also addressed the side’s goal drought so far in the competition. Scotland are the only team not to score at Euro 2020 but have had multiple chances against Czech Republic and England.

Clarke said: “If we keep creating the chances we have created, if we keep having the shots at goal we have had in previous matches, then you would like to think that Lady Luck will be on our side and maybe one of them will hit the back of the net, or at least one will hit the back of the net.

“If we reach the performance levels of the other night then I think we will be very competitive in the game and then that you need that little stroke of luck that every team needs in a big game. Hopefully it’s our turn to be the lucky team.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code