Home BETTING TIPS Scotland relishing opportunity to crash Germany’s party in Euro 2024 opener

Scotland relishing opportunity to crash Germany’s party in Euro 2024 opener



26 years have passed since Scotland last opened a major tournament. That was at the 1998 World Cup when Craig Brown’s team faced defending world champions Brazil. While Scotland held their own for much of the match, they ultimately suffered a 2-1 defeat and exited the tournament at the group stage.

A different, more positive outcome is being targeted by Steve Clarke’s team who will take on hosts Germany in Friday’s Euro 2024 opener. The Tartan Army chant “no Scotland, no party,” but it’ll be the visitors to the Allianz Arena aiming to crash Germany’s party as host nation. Scotland won’t be there to make up the numbers.

This is Scotland’s second successive European Championships and the target is clear – make the last 16. No Scotland team has ever made it beyond the group stage of a major tournament. They are the only member of the Home Nations never to have played a knockout match at a World Cup or Euros. This is what Scotland wants to change.

“This squad have been fantastic for me and fantastic for their country and now they have a chance to create a bit of history, so let’s see if we can do that,” said Clarke. “We will need top level performances against good teams, we are going to have to play to our maximum in the three group games. I believe if we play to our maximum and we get the right amount of football luck, that you need sometimes, I believe we can do it, so that is something for us to aim for.”

Clarke also addressed the negativity around Scotland that has grown in recent weeks in large part due to the number of injuries to important players. Lewis Ferguson was one of the best midfielders in Serie A this season for Bologna, but will miss Euro 2024. Right backs Aaron Hickey and Nathan Patterson will also miss the tournament along with Lyndon Dykes and Ben Doak.

Nonetheless, Scotland arrive at Euro 2024 having built to this point over a number of years. Euro 2020 qualification came too early in this team’s development under Clarke. At that point, they were still under construction as a side, as highlighted by the fact Billy Gilmour made his international debut against England at Wembley.

Since then, though, Scotland have won promotion to League A of the UEFA Nations League and qualified with ease from their Euro 2024 qualification group, achieving eye-catching wins over Spain and Norway. There was a point last year at which Scotland were competitive in every match they played, no matter the standard of opposition. There was a swagger to their play.

If Clarke can find a way to revert Scotland back to that point, they could give Germany trouble in Friday’s Euro 2024 opener. Germany’s right side could be a weak point with Joshua Kimmich more comfortable in central midfield and this is an area where Scotland could cause some damage through dual left backs Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney.

Scotland’s midfield will also be a strength with Gilmour and Callum McGregor capable of controlling possession against even the strongest opponents. Then there’s John McGinn and Scott McTominay whose late runs into the box could cause chaos and exploit space that opens up in Germany’s defensive line.

By every measure, Germany are firm favourites to open their Euro 2024 campaign with a win to set themselves up for a deep run at a tournament on home soil, but Scotland thrived in the role of underdog throughout qualifying and are relishing the opportunity to produce another upset on Friday.