Scotland ready for Euros send-off as team face Finland in final friendly

The Tartan Army will be behind Steve Clarke's team in the last warm-up game before Euro 2024.

It’s one week until Scotland open the European Championships with a match against hosts Germany in Munich and Steve Clarke’s side have only one warm-up game to play before heading out to the Euros.

Finland are the opposition for Friday’s friendly at Hampden and the Tartan Army will give Scotland a noisy send-off, ideally after a win to build momentum going into the competition.

Monday’s 2-0 victory over Gibraltar in Faro ended a run of seven matches without a win, but in difficult conditions, against a stubborn and defensive side and with a slightly experimental team picked to get players fit, it wasn’t a performance to set the heart racing.

The Hampden match looks to be a little different, with Clarke having suggested that he will name a team that’s more like the one he intends to field when the team gets down to action in Germany.

Changes to the squad over the last few days mean there could be a first chance to see Bristol City striker Tommy Conway and New York Red Bulls forward Lewis Morgan since they were called up, and there will likely be a raft of substitutions as the head coach aims to get as many players towards their peak in this last opportunity for match action.

Friday also marks the deadline for Clarke to submit his final 26-player squad for the finals and with 28 currently training, there is some disappointing news coming for two of the players.

The Scotland boss says he has already made his selection but it’s not clear when he will make his decision public and he may wait until after full-time.

Finland will have been picked as a side that offers the balance of being a meaningful test as Scotland aim for match sharpness, but also a team that offers a reasonable chance of a win to keep spirits high.

Markku Kanerva’s side finished third in their qualifying group, behind Slovenia and Denmark, but then fell to a 4-1 defeat in their play-off semi-final against Wales.

Former Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara misses out with a leg injury but Aberdeen’s Richard Jensen is expected to play, as is one-time Celtic striker Teemu Pukki.

All eyes will be on Scotland though, with Clarke urging everyone to show their appreciation and support.

After seeing some criticism of his team’s performance against Gibraltar, he wants everyone to enjoy the moment and get behind the players.

“Any time I read a snippet from someone who wants to be a negative Norman, I just dismiss it,” he said.

“What is there to be negative about? We’re going into another major tournament. The squad is in a good place. We’re all determined to do as well as we can for our country.

“Why not just relax and enjoy it? That’s what we’re going to try and do. Let’s get behind them and give them a real chance.”

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